makarasana - crocodile pose


Prone backbend asana.

Physical Benefits

Strengthens the back body, position of choice for those with herniated spinal disc.

Mental Benefits

Energizes, exhilarates, lifts mood.

Subtle Body Benefits

Manipura chakra is energized, as well as svadishthana chakra.

Karmic Benefits

Opens the heart and encourages empathy and openness towards others – imbue all your backbend practices with special intent to increase tolerance and acceptance of all beings.


Balasana – Child’s Pose.


Not too long in this pose if you have extreme lumbar curve.


  1. Lie prone (face down) on yoga mat with your arms at your sides.

  2. Initially, come into Sphinx Pose - elbows directly below shoulders with forearms resting in front of you, palms down.

  3. Inhale and reach your heart forward as you anchor your tailbone towards your heels root down through your thighs and all ten toes, then exhale as you surrender all your weight into your pubic bone. Relax your shoulders, drop your shoulder blades down your back, jiggle your shoulders to relax them, and rock your pelvis slightly from side to side to release tension from your buttocks.

  4. Repeat Step # 3 a number of times, each time increasing the space between lower ribs and top of pelvis as you reach your heart forward on the inhalation. Each time you exhale, press your pubic bone down, tipping slightly forward towards your belly button.

  5. Now you’re ready to bring your arms alongside your torso, or optionally, reach them out in front of you with palms facing in towards each other.

  6. Inhale and raise your arms and legs simultaneously, reaching both sets of limbs away from you rather than up. Hold as you like, and exhale as you release.

  7. Breathe.

Tips from Deep Retreat

  1. Backbends are exhilarating and raise the energy! They are great if you are feeling depressed or low, or just need an energy boost.

  2. A balanced asana session should always include at least as many backbends as forward bends, perhaps even more. Mostly, we spend a great part of our day in a forward bent position. It is said that we are only as young as our spines are supple!

  3. Because backbends raise awareness of svadishthana chakra, fire element increases at this chakra level - this can be very helpful for kindling the fire in a relationship. If you are not in a partnership, this fire is wonderful for experiencing hieghtened feelings of love and openness towards others.

  4. Sandwich twists between backbends to release your spine.

  5. Balance your practice with forward bends towards the end of your session.


Child’s Pose – Balasana, or any other forward bend plus plenty of twists.


Double your mat beneath your pelvis if you have bony hips! This is a safe pose for most of us.