Kapotasana Preparatory Poses

Kapotasana is a popular backbend yoga pose that has been featured in many classes. This powerful move can create greater flexibility in your spine, enhance your balance, and open your chest and hips. As a more advanced move, it’s important to warm up before attempting Kapotasana. Start in a comfortable seated position, and roll your shoulder blades up your back. Inhale as you lift your arms over your head and exhale as you open your chest and back as much as possible. On an exhale, lean your upper body back from its midpoint, keeping your arms extended and your chest open. Plant feet firmly on the ground, bending your knees so both your feet are on the ground. Activate your core and lift your body up with your arms and legs. Bend back into the full pose, using your hands to hold onto your feet if needed. Release your breath and hold the pose for five to eight long deep breaths. Do not attempt to go any further then you’re comfortable with. To exit the pose, exhale as you lay your body down or release your feet and hands, keeping your stomach and chest pressing down. When obtaining any challenging posture like this, be sure you’re prepared and that your body is open and warm. If you’re practicing Kapotasana for the first time, it’s important to build up your strength slowly for the most benefit and safety.

Improving Your Kapotasana Pose

Kapotasana pose being demonstrated

If you’re looking to move further in your Kapotasana position, you may choose to eventually allow your body to rest in Urdhva Dhanurasana, or Upward Bow Pose. You can move into this position by keeping your stomach and chest pressing down onto the ground, while inhaling and engaging your core muscles to find lift. From here, lift your hips up, grabbing onto your feet and bringing your head backwards. Bend your arms to hold your feet and use your core to keep your body up, if possible. Entering into this position does require flexibility, so always back off if you don’t feel comfortable. To safely exit Upward Bow pose, exhale as you lay your body down, and squeeze your shoulder blades back together.


Kapotasana can be an advanced posture to navigate, and with safety and awareness, you can experience the many wonderful benefits that come with it. To practice Kapotasana regularly, try to engage with your core and focus your awareness on your underlying support. Additionally, use your breath to help move you deeper into the pose. As you become comfortable in this pose, you can explore further options, such as incorporating Urdhva Dhanurasana. With mindful execution, Kapotasana can open your chest and back and increase your strength, flexibility and balance.