I love Salamba Bhujangasana (sphinx pose) because its such a gentle back bend. I incorporate it into warmups, Yin yoga and its delicious as a morning wake up stretch. Its really great for beginners too! There are lots of modifications and variations available and here are 3 of my favorites.
Classic Sphinx pose opens, strengthens, and stretches the spine, chest, shoulders and lungs.
If you find your elbows or forearms have discomfort place a blanket under them for extra cushion. You can also fold the blanket to get a little extra lift in your back bend.
Sphinx with a bolster is classic for Yin, it allows you to hang out in the pose for longer periods by taking some of the compression off your spine. It’s a really lovely way to take this pose.