Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana – Forearm Wheel Pose
Dwi pada viparita dandasana literally translates to two legged inverted staff pose, but I think that calling it “forearm wheel pose” creates a better visual. This pose is pretty advanced and I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners, but it is a beautiful back bend and shoulder opener. This pose requires a lot of core strength and quad strength, as well as very open shoulders and core muscles. I know that may seem like a contrast, but I have found over the years that you can’t just be open, you must also be strong to maintain integrity in your pose. The same goes for your shoulders, if they are super open, but you have no strength in them, you won’t be able to hold the pose. I usually get into the pose by first coming into urdhva dhanurasana and then lowering down one forearm at a time. From here you can choose to walk your feet in closer to your hands or walk your feet further away straightening your legs. If you walk your feet in, you must keep pushing your heart away from your feet while trying not to overly clench your glutes, this will help you maintain an even curve throughout your spine. If you walk your feet further away coming towards straight legs, you must have warmed up your hamstrings and hip flexors, and even here push your heart away from your feet. Though it is a deeper back bend than urdhva dhanurasana, it may be a little less intensive on your biceps and definitely your wrists. I find this pose to look absolutely beautiful and effortless for those that can do it, images of this pose make it seem a whole lot easier than it really is. The fact that this pose looks so open and easy, but is in fact very intense and requires tonnes of strength is why I LOVE it so much!