Pose of the Month – Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow or Full Wheel)

May Pose of the Month

Urdhva (Upward) Dhanurasana (Bow) or Full Wheel

level: Intermediate Level Pose

Upward Facing Bow / Full Wheel is a deep back-bend that most of us probably did without even thinking about as a child but as we get older and as we stop playing and moving, our spines begin to lose it’s flexibility and perhaps even begins to round forward, closing of the heart and tightening the muscles of the chest.

Urdhva Dhanurasana is a demanding pose that requires equal amounts of flexibility and strength.

It requires openness from the front body and strength in the back body with flexibility in the upper thoracic spine, it requires mobility in the shoulder joints and strength in the arms. We need to use the whole body as one, the legs work to support the arms, the front body and abdominals work to support the back and the breath is used to steady and calm the mind and nourish the lungs.

How To Do Urdhva Dhanurasana


  • Increases energy,

  • Can counteract depression

  • Can stimulate all 7 chakras helping to keep balance into all processes of the body



  • Strengthens and lengthens the spine, increasing elasticity and flexibility.

  • Strengthens your arms, wrists, abdominals, legs, shoulders and chest.

  • Opens the chest and strengthens the lungs, allowing increased amounts of oxygen into the rib cage.

  • Can enhance the nervous system.

  • Can tone the waist

  • Loosen tight hips

  • Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands



  • Asthma – As long as you breathe deeply while in the pose

  • Back Pain

  • Infertility

  • Can help to prevent Osteoporosis



  • Back injury

  • Carpel Tunnel

  • Headache

  • Heart problems

  • High or low blood pressure

Preparatory Positions for Full Wheel


  • Use your glutes, this helps to open up your hip flexors

  • Push with the legs more than the arms

  • Wrap triceps in to support the shoulder girdle

  • Lifting the heels can provide more room to lengthen the lower back

  • Make sure that you are fully warmed up before practicing Urdhva Dhanurasana , flow through some sun salutations (any variation), spend a little bit of time working on strengthening the back body with locust poses or even baby cobra with the hands off the floor

  • Perhaps warm up the shoulders with forearm plank and dolphin

  • Have fun and enjoy the process

We’ll be practicing Urdhva Dhanurasana all this month and next month in the studio, looking forward to seeing you there.

Health and Happiness

Emma xo

#UrdhvaDhanurasana #FullWheel #UpwardFacingBow

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