Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow/Wheel)
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Before you start
Warm up with other backbends before practicing this asana.
Moving in and out of the asana
1. Lie on your back.
2. Feet hip distance apart, heels near your buttocks.
3. Hands flat on floor, shoulder distance apart, fingers towards feet, hands in line with ears.
4. Engage leg muscles and press feet strongly into the ground.
5. Inhale and lift hips and then upper body off the ground, resting top of head on floor.
7. Keeping legs strong and parallel.
8. Inhale and lift upper body off floor.
9. Try to straighten arms, keeping upper arm bones in shoulder socket.
10. Stay here for a few breaths.
11. Exhale to lower to the ground, keeping chin tucked to chest and putting shoulders on the floor first then back the buttocks.
Tips for beginner students
If you can't lift your whole body off the floor, remain with your head on the floor and work on developing the strength of your arms by pressing your hands firmly into the floor.
Separate your feet a little wider than hip distance apart, keeping feet relatively parallel.
Keep breathing throughout.
Tips for intermediate students
Move hands a little wider than shoulder distance apart as you work towards straightening your arms.
Keep working the legs, rather than letting your arms do all the work.
Try to make your breathing as effortless as asanas you find easy.
Keep feet parallel by working the inner feet more than the outer feet.
Tips for advanced students
Inner spiral your legs and press firmly into the floor with your feet.
Try to keep the upper arm bones firmly within the shoulder joint.
Relax your neck and face.
Tuck your tailbone and try to keep your spine long.
Strengthening legs, arms, wrists, stomach and back
Stretching hip flexors, chest, abdomen and lungs
Stimulating nervous system and thyroid gland
Do not practice if you have
Degenerative disc disease
High blood pressure