Urdhva Dhanurasana can also be referred to as upward bow or wheel pose.
urdhva = upward
dhanu = bow
Most people that I hear from have a love/hate relationships with backbends. Backbends can feel especially unfamiliar and difficult since its such a deep arch in the spine, as well as opening in the chest and across the abdomen. The truth is – that backbending is just not a movement that most adults make in their day to day lives.
Because of the intense opening throughout the front of the body, backbending often brings up feelings of anxiety and stress – the key is to learn how to stay with the difficult places and work through them.
Pre urdhva dhanurasana: It’s best to practice backbends when the body (especially the spine!) is warmed up, and its most safe to start with a few gentle backbends such as bridge pose and work toward a deeper backbend from there.
Post urdhva dhanurasana: Make sure to neutralize the spine with either downward dog or dandasana.
- Strengthens the arms, wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen and spine
- Improves posture
- Relieves tension in tight shoulders and eases mild back pain
- Stimulates the thyroid (regulates your metabolism) and pituitary glands (regulates secretion in all the other endocrine glands)
- Increases energy
- Counteracts depression
- Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, osteoporosis and infertility