Urdhva Dhanurasana is usually the culmination of work in other poses (such as camel, cobra or upward dog, low lunge, dolphin, and down dog) to prepare the body. But while it’s a big pose, it’s also a very rewarding one.
Three main things go into this pose. Opening up the front of the legs, opening up the upper back, and opening up the shoulders.
Lay on your back with the knees bent, both feet and knees about hip width distance apart. Place your hands by your ears and as you press both the feet and the hands into the floor, lift the hips off the floor. Press your shoulder blades into the back of your ribs to open the chest as you come up.
It is important here to make sure that your lower back stays nice and open. Tuck the tailbone as you come up and concentrate on opening and relaxing the front side of the body (the thighs, the belly, the chest, and the shoulders). If at this point you feel any compression or pressure in the lower back, you may be better off working with the preparatory poses for a while longer. Hold for as long as you feel comfortable and can maintain the pose without struggling.
For a sequences built around preparing for Full Wheel, click here.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!