Yoga Pose Breakdown | Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose, Urdhva Dhanurasana

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Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Dhanurasana (OORD-vah don-your-AHS-anna)
Urdhva = Upward Dhanurasana = Bow

Get Started:

:: Begin on your back with your knees bent and your feet parallel on the ground.

:: Lightly graze your heels with your middle finger to ensure that your knees are stacked over your ankles.

:: Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the fold on the outside of your head; your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor and your fingers should point toward your shoulders.

:: Press into your feet, lift your tailbone toward your pubis and lift your hips high to the sky and come onto the crown of your head.

:: Slowly lift your head up to the sky, getting your arms and thighs parallel.

:: Lift your chin slightly away from your sternum.

:: Firm your shoulder blades.

:: Energetically engage your inner thighs.

:: Allow your core and legs to do this pose rather than engaging your glutes.

:: To come out, move back onto the crown of your head and slowly lower down.

Benefits: Wheel Pose stretches the chest and lungs and strengthens the arms, wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen and spine. It stimulates the thyroid and pituitary, and increases energy. It can help counteract depression. It's also therapeutic for asthma, back pain, infertility and osteoporosis.

Contradictions: If you have a back injury, avoid practicing this pose, unless an experienced teacher is helping you. Also be careful practicing this pose if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, diarrhea, heart problems, high or low blood pressure, heart problems, or a headache.

Know your asana: Wheel pose is said to ignite all seven of the chakras.

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