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Urdhva Dhanurasana

Posted on March 21 2017

Upward Bow (wheel) Pose Urdhva Dhanurasana Venkatesh Yogacharye
The wheel pose is an amazing pose. The hands and feet are strongly grounded, the spine curves beautifully and it is a really nice asana. Believe it or not, this pose is not only about the flexibility of the spine, the legs, hips, abdomen and arms are all important. It can take a bit of time to strengthen these areas to perfect the pose, it is best to try this in a studio and not at home alone just to prevent injury and be aligned properly! 
King Arthurs pose, Bridge pose, Cobra pose and Downward Facing Dog are good poses to help you build up the strength and length needed to do Urdhva Dhanurasana.

How To...

  1. Lie down on the floor. Bend your knees (keep your feet flat on the ground) and bring your heels all way to your sitting bones as close as you can. Put your hands beside your ears and your elbows should be bent pointing up. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Press the inner soles of your feet to the floor, exhale and push the tailbone toward the pubis and life the buttocks off the floor (keep the buttocks active). Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel to one another and take 2-3 breaths.
  3. Press the inner hands into the floor and your shoulder blades against the back and lift up onto the crown of your head. Take 2-3 breaths. (your arms should be parallel)
  4. Press your fet and hands against the floor, while exhaling lift your head off the floor and straighten your arm completely. Turn the upper thighs slightly inward and firm the outer thighs, narrow the hip and lengthen the tailbone towards the back of the knee lifting the pubis towards the navel.
  5. Turn the upper arms outward but keep the weight on the bases of the index fingers. Spread the shoulder blades across the back and let the head hang or you can slighty lift it to look down at the floor.
  6. Stay in the pose for 5-10 seconds, staying focused on the breath. Repeat the pose from 3-10 times.

To help protect your knees during this posture and to make sure they don't fall in on each other you can you a block to keep them separated. Bricks can also help you in this pose, if you place them beneath your hand or feet it can make the pose slightly easier.


  • Stretches the chest and lungs
  • Strengthens the arms and wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and spine
  • Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary
  • Increases energy and counteracts depression
  • Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, infertility, and osteoporosis


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