‘Urdhava’ means upwards or raised and ‘Dhanura’ means bow. Urdhava Dhanurasana is also known as Chakrasana and this pose strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and thighs. An excellent backward bending pose, it also stretches hips, thighs and legs. It improves memory and makes the back and hips supple.
Organising the Pose:-
1. Begin in a preliminary pose, lying flat on your back with your knees bent. Bring your heels to your hips, keeping the feet hip width apart and parallel to each other.
2. Raise your back and hips off the floor. Curve your spine and rest the crown of your head on the floor.
4. Place your palms under your shoulders with the fingers pointing inwards towards your feet.
5. With the feet and knees parallel to each other start to lift the body off the ground by pushing with your hands and feet. As the body begins to rise, the hips will lead followed by the chest.
6. Inhale as you straighten the elbows, arching the hips and chest up as high as possible. Allow the head to drop back. Breathe deeply as you hold this position for at least 10 -15 breaths.
7. To release, the pose, bend your elbows and gently drop the crown of the head first followed by the hips and the rest of the body.
l Bend your body like a bow.
l Keep your feet hip distance apart and parallel to each other instead of rotating outward.
l Bend your elbows.
l Widen your knees too much.
l Corrects rounded back and shoulders.
l Improves respiration
l Removes dullness and laziness
l Makes you strong and energetic.
This pose comes with a lot of variations which are designed to bring even a greater amount of strength and flexibility to the spine shoulders and the upper back.
Neelanjana Bharadwaj- Yoga Expert