I originally created this four-step photo tutorial for my Instagram account, but I decided today that it was worthwhile to also post it to the website. I am always looking for new and creative ways to use my yoga blocks. Here is an unconventional, but very useful way to deepen your practice with a bit of help from a block.
Dropping back into any kind of backbend can be terrifying the first time. Trust me, I get it. I’ve had visions of splitting my head open, and of course, breaking my neck. Hopefully, this post will alleviate some of your fears. Rather than starting with a traditional yoga dropback, which begins in a standing position and ends in wheel pose, I recommend starting a bit closer to the ground with a camel dropback.
If you freak out half way through the tutorial, you can simply reach your hands to the mat on either side of you. Not a big deal. This tutorial will help you build confidence at YOUR pace.
In my own experience, I’ve found it to be much more of an accessible feat to drop back if the process is broken down into baby steps. Rather than starting with the goal of dropping your head onto the mat, let’s work with a block and drop back onto that.
Flip a block to its tallest orientation, and place it against your toes as you kneel on your mat. Bring your palms together in front of your heart.
Steps 2 and 3
Slowly begin to push your hips forward, and find strength in your legs, as you lift your chest toward the sky and bend back. Be mindful of your breath—it’s so easy to forget to breathe while backbending. Inhale and exhale deeply through your nose.
Gently place the top of your head onto your block. If the block is currently beyond your reach, start with a higher surface—maybe a stool with a cushion. See if you can hold this position for a few deep breaths. To exit the pose, engage the core, engage the thighs, and slowly rise back to a kneeling position.
You CAN overcome your fear of dropbacks, one step at a time. Once you become comfortable with the block at its highest orientation, go ahead and flip the block onto one of its other edges to practice a deeper dropback. Let us know how you do.