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Urdhva Dhanurasana – Upward bow. Photo Pleuni van Hulten

Upward bow – Urdhva Dhanurasana

It’s getting close to the end of the month. Time for some more challenging backbends for those who bend backwards easily and those who are feeling ready for it. Urdhva Dhanurasana – Upward bow is seen as ‘the bridge’ between the easier and more complex backbends and seen as one of the best asanas to make the body vital / full of life again.

Getting into Urdhva Dhanurasana – Upward bow

  • Lay flat on your back on your yoga mat
  • Bend your elbows and place hands on the floor, behind your head, with your fingertips pointing towards your feet
  • Bend your knees en place your feet close by your buttocks
  • Breath out and lift your torso from the floor. Let your crown of your head rest on the floor. Breath in and out twice more
  • Breath out and lift your torso higher, so your torso and head come of the floor. Bend your torso backwards so you carry the weight of your body on your hands and feet.
  • Try to straighten your arms en in the same motion lift your thighs as high as you can
  • Raise your chest as high as you can. If you want a bigger stretch you can lift your heels from the floor. Bring your belly even more upwards
  • Stay in the pose for half a minute up until a full minute and keep breathing
  • Breath out and slowly let your body sink back to the floor

Benefits of Urdhva Dhanurasana – Upward bow

  • Stretches the entire spine and gives the spine its original flexibility back
  • Keeps the body vital
  • Strengthens wrists and arms
  • Calms the mind
  • Stretches chest and lungs
  • Stimulates thyroid and pituitary gland


Source: Light on Yoga - Iyengar / Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long / Ashtanga – David Swenson / Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Photo: Pleuni van Hulten


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