Yoga | Urdhva Dhanurasana – Upward Bow Pose

This one’s an intermediate/advanced backbend that is another one of my absolute favorite asanas. I’m not entirely sure why but it’s mostly the inverted poses that I love the most. The Urdhva Dhanurasana which is more commonly known as the ‘Upward Bow Pose’ or even the ‘Full Wheel Pose’ (Chakrasana) is an asana that you should definitely practice and perfect and make a part of your life. It has plentitude, and I mean PAH-LENTITUDE of benefits that you will read about later on in this post.

Urdhva Dhanurasana { urdhva=upward, dhanur=bow } arching your entire body to look like an inverted bow.

Yoga | Urdhva Dhanurasana - Upward Bow Pose

Benefits of regularly practising this asana (yup there’s a whole list):

~ Lengthens the spinal column which naturally compresses as we age. The increase in elasticity helps in keeping us tall and giving a clean posture in old age as well.
~ Strengthens an array of muscles in the arms, wrists, abdomen, legs, shoulders and chest.
~ My favorite – it expands your heart and opens up your chest giving you that overall feeling of life being amazeballs.
~ Sends increased amounts of oxygen to the ribcage improving respiration
~ Helps in loosening tight hips which is a common problem resulting from our daily sitting postures.
~ It is even said to help with balancing your hormones.

How to do it:

~ Lie on your back, knees bending, heels as close to your hips at hip-widpth.
~ Bend your elbows, put your palms on the floor, just above your shoulders, fingers spread wide towards the shoulders.
~ Engage your inner thighs and stabilize your fours. Exhale pushing your tailbone up.
~ While rising, legs must stay at hip width distance and not sway. Similarly the elbows must also remain at shoulder width.
~ Press evenly into your feet and palms to lift off your hips & lower back. Pause, then lift your upper torso and bring the crown of your head to lightly touch the mat.
~ Stabilize your self. Don’t forget to keep breathing.
~ Press into our palms once again to finally lift off your head.
~ Elongate and relax your neck and breathe deeply.
~ You can stay in this pose for 5-10 seconds or even more and repeat it 3-10 times.

Note of Caution: You must pay special attention and make sure that your legs stay parallel and at hip width and similarly elbows stay firm at shoulder width. People with shoulder injuries, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or high blood pressure should avoid this pose.

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