Toni Kuhn

Urdhva Dhanurasana


Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Facing Bow Pose)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Facing Bow Pose)

This week we will focus on backbends in class. Urdhva Dhanurasana is one of the more challenging poses and should only be practiced after a very thorough warm up. When done properly, this pose builds strength, opens the chest, stretches the abdomen, the shoulders, and the hip flexors. It also creates mobility and flexibility in the spine. This pose is a very deep backbend and you can use props to make the pose more accessible. There are many variations of this pose and modifications. All of which will still give you the benefits I listed. So look as this pose as a framework for what your body allows you to do and practice it with ahimsa ( no harm).

Here are some tips:

  • Start on your back, knees bent, and place your hands by your ears.
  • Keep your legs hip distance and draw your buttocks towards the back of your knees.
  • Press the shoulder blades into the chest and shift your weight to your heels.
  • Lift your torso off the floor and lightly rest the crown of your head on the floor.
  • Move the frontal hips bones to the front ribs.
  • Spread your collarbones wide.
  • Continue to press into your heels and press your palms down as your straighten your arms to lift all the way up.
  • Continues to draw your buttocks towards your knees and spin your inner thighs down.
  • Hold a few breaths.
  • Slowly lower to the floor and rest.
  • Hug your knees into your chest and rock side to side.
  • Take a simple twist lying down.
  • Rest a few breaths and feel your energy levels increase.


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