(Chariot of the Gods)  

Fall brings many changes along with its crisp air. For many of us, our children return back to school and we return back to our routines. Our clocks are set back, the days become shorter, & for some of us, as the sun fades, so too does our energy. Our shoulders start to round forward in an effort to keep the body warm as the cold weather sets in.


Luckily for all of us who practice yoga, we have poses that can expand the chest and abdomen, and correct rounded shoulders. These poses are Backward Bends & they are invigorating, filling us with energy, while also strengthening the nervous system. Since other things are falling back now, why not our yoga bends too?


Backward Bends improve circulation through the chest, pelvis, and all of the vital organs. They also increase circulation through the spine, invite the spine to lengthen and the chest to lift. It’s important to always be mindful when practicing Backward Bends; keep the buttocks contracted and the pelvis tucked, so as not to aggravate the lower back.


One of my favorite Backward Bends is Chariot of the Gods pose, sometimes affectionately referred to as Superman Pose because you will almost feel like you can fly as the energy extends out your fingers and toes.


To come into the pose, lie on your abdomen and extend the arms overhead alongside the ears. Stretch out through the legs, keeping the feet hip-width apart. Inhale and lengthen, lifting the arms, upper body, and legs. Take a few breaths here, and then release back down to the mat on an exhale and rest.


Enjoy the instant burst of energy, always available to you, by simply bending back.

Janette Warner
Certified Yoga Instructor