Upward Bow Pose

Urdhva Dhanurasana

POSE CATEGORY

Backbend, Supine

ANATOMY

Full Body, Legs, Low Back, Psoas, Quads, Spine, Upper Back, Wrists

Setup and Key Actions

Lie on your back. Bend your knees, feet flat on the floor as you would for bridge pose. Place your hands alongside your ears, with fingertips pointing toward your shoulders. Don't allow your elbows to splay open; instead, draw them in toward center (but not so much that you're squeezing your ears). Suck your elbows back toward your armpits, hollowing  your armpits. 

On your next inhale, lift your hips, straighten your arms, and press up into the pose. Only release your head if your arms straighten completely. If you're feeling comfortable here, lift onto the balls of your feet and walk them a little closer toward your hands. Lower your heels with control (without letting them splay out!). Ground down through your legs, and press your chest back through your arms toward the wall behind you. 

If you've walked your feet back toward your hands, walk them forward to exit the pose. Avoid coming onto the crown of your head. Lower your chin to your chest, and lower the back of your shoulders/upper back onto the mat first as you come down.

Modifications

If keeping your feet parallel is challenging, place a block between your feet or inner thighs (or both) before pressing up into the pose.

Yoga International

Yoga International

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