To start with
Your head, neck and upper back are supposed to lie on the BackMitra, in such a way that the upper part of the spinal column is being supported. One end of the BackMitra is located below the shoulder blades (see photo on the right for correct positioning on the back).
Put the BackMitra at the top middle of your mat with the logo facing sideways. Sit down with your back towards the BackMitra, knees pulled up.
Lean backwards onto your elbows, and continue downwards until you feel the BackMitra touching your back. Shift your body so one end of the BackMitra is touching the spine below the shoulder blades, in the spot directly below the lowest part of your breastbone.
Slowly lie down on the BackMitra.
Check the correct placement by drawing a line with your finger from the lowest point of your breastbone towards the floor, continue this line until reaching your spine. This is the point that rests on the end of the BackMitra. If you are not sure of your position use a mirror or ask someone else to help.
The knees are pulled up, feet and knees about hip-width apart, feet flat on the floor, heels turned slightly outward.
With both hands lift up your head a few centimeters, move the chin towards the chest by looking at your knees. Put your head down slowly.
Check with your hand if there is free space between your lower back and the floor. If your lower back is flat on the floor, tilt your pelvis a little backwards in such a way that your hand fits underneath your lower back.
Place your arms next to your body and relax (if at this point you can’t see the tops of your knees without adjusting the position of your head you may consider using a BackMitra Pillow. This will allow the back of your neck to stretch to a fuller extend).
Interlock your thumbs and exercise a light pull that you will maintain throughout the exercise.
Lift up your arms towards the ceiling. The arms don’t need to be fully stretched.
Lift up your arms as high as possible, in such a way that the shoulders lift off the floor. Now let your shoulders sink back to the floor, the arms stay stretched towards the ceiling.
Slowly move your arms over your head towards the floor. Feel the point of pressure shift on the BackMitra. Keep your attention on this moving point.
It is possible that you encounter resistance during this movement. Briefly halt there, breathe a couple of times in and out and slowly continue with your arms towards the floor.
Let go of your thumbs and slowly move your arms in a big circle, your hands barely touching the floor. Also in this movement you can encounter spots of resistance. Pause again, breathe and slowly continue until your arms are beside your body.
Again interlock your thumbs.
Repeat the exercise 2 times.
Continue with Exercise 2.
If you are using a BackMitra Pillow, remove it now.
Arms slightly spread apart next to the body, hands on the floor or on the belly.
Press the ball of the feet into the floor, and with this pressure push the pelvis up. Continue until the pelvis is about 10 to 20 cm off the floor. The goal is not to lift up the pelvis as high as possible, but to slide the back of the head slightly upward so the back of the neck can stretch. If the knees have the tendency to move outward you can place a yoga block or something similar between the knees and keep a light pressure during exercise. Try not to get the force from your buttock muscles, but from the legs. The buttocks stay as relaxed as possible.
By lifting up the pelvis and the pressure from the feet the head shifts a little upwards, the back of the neck stretches and comes in contact with the BackMitra.
If, while pushing the pelvis up, the chin wants to point towards the ceiling, lift up your head with both hands and move the chin towards the chest.
Breathe in and out 3 times.
Slowly come down, lightly toning your abdominal muscles, until your pelvis is on the floor.
Repeat this exercise 2 times.
Roll to your right side and put the BackMitra next to the mat.
Roll onto your back, stretch your legs and relax.
To get up: Roll to your right side and come up using the strength of your arms.
Here you can find videos with more BackMitra exercises.