Urdhva Dhanurasana – Upward Facing Bow
Upward facing bow (sometimes more commonly referred to as wheel in the yoga world, or bridge in the gymnastics world) is possibly my absolute favourite pose. To perform urdhva dhanurasana with good alignment, not only do you have to have a very warmed up back, but your thighs should be internally rotating so as to keep the femurs rooted. You want your glutes to be toned, but not clenched, and furthermore your shoulder must be open and warm. In the full expression when you’re able to stack your shoulders over your wrists, if you think about it then you will see that your arms are in the same alignment as in handstand. So that is a lot of work to think about when you’re upside down and in a super deep back bend. All that work is important though, so many people try to muscle their way into it when they’re not ready and it can actually cause your back to spasm. When you do get into it with good alignment though, it is such a joyful pose to be in. It opens your chest and core, when your shoulders are stacked it’s less work in your upper arms, and it’s just an all around energizing pose. Not to mention that is such a beautiful pose when you’re not struggling, the joy practically radiates off of you! Not to mention, I just really love all the back bends and naturally gravitate toward them. For all of these reasons and more I LOVE urdhva dhanurasana!