Seal pose

Step by step

  • Lie on your stomach, legs a comfortable distance from each other.
  • Bring your palms flat on the floor and adjust the distance of your hands away from your body, according to the sensations in your lower back: bring the hands forward to reduce the sensations or widen the position of the arms to accommodate your shoulders
  • The neck can stay neutral, or you can gently drop the head back or forward, supporting your chin with your fists if you wish.
  • Relax your buttocks, and hold the pose for 3 to 5 minutes. Eventually, this pose can be held up to 20 minutes
  • To come out of the pose, gently lower the chest on the floor and lie down, forehead on your hands.
  • For a deeper release in the lower back, bend one knee and glide it towards (but not parallel with) the hip. Bring your cheek on your hands looking toward the bent knee. Repeat on the other side.

Beginners tips

  • Simply lying on your belly, forehead resting on your hands can be a deep enough backbend for you.

Benefits

 

  • Energises the Adrenal glands.
  • Restores natural curvature in the lumbar spine and promotes connective tissue regeneration in the sacral area.
  • Stimulates the Urinary Bladder meridian through mild compression of the lower back
  • Stimulates the thyroid gland if the head is leaning backwards.

Watch out for

  • Avoid if you are pregnant or have lower back issues.
  • Avoid in case of a headache
  • Come out of the pose if you experience sharp, stinging sensations in your lower back

Variations

 

  • Place a bolster under your ribs and armpits to relax completely in the pose.
  • Adjust the position of your legs by spreading them apart or bringing them together, to explore different sensations along the spine and in the sacrum.
  • Place blocks under the elbows, or bend the knees to enhance the sensations in the lower back.
  • If you feel compression in the pubic bone, place a blanket underneath. Stack your arm bones in order to relax your shoulders. You can turn your fingers out to add a gentle stretch in the wrists and arms.

Alternative pose

Counter pose