Welcome to yoga workshop Fridays! Don’t know what I am talking about, check out this post.
This series will be each Friday explaining how to do a particular pose leading up to a peak pose on the last Friday of the month. Throughout this series, I ask that you listen to your body to prevent injury and warm up for a pose when needed.
Disclaimer: Though I am a certified yoga instructor, please consult your doctor before you begin practice and note that everyone’s practice may look a bit different as you align the pose to your body.
The peak pose for this month is my favorite backbend pose and the pose that my blog is based off of, wheel pose, also known as Urdhva Dhanurasana in sandskrit which translates to upward facing bow pose.
I love this pose for a great heart opener and back stretch. It is also great for strength as both your legs and arms have to work to keep you up. If you want to take it further from just a yoga pose, you can do wheel push ups (google it!).
I suggest warming up for this pose with a few sun salutations and maybe doing a few rounds of locust pose or bridge pose. Spend 15-20 minutes at least warming up for this pose as it is a deep backbend.
How to do the pose:
Begin by lying on your back, feet planted on the mat, hip distance apart, just like bridge pose. Then bring your hands by your ears, elbows pointing straight up towards the sky. Take a breath in and as you exhale, press into your hands and feet as you lift the hips off the floor, coming to the crown of your head, then continue to press strongly through the hands towards straight arms to lift your head off the mat. Keep your feet parallel, toes pointing forward. If you are comfortable here, try to walk your hands closer to your feet to get an even deeper backbend. Take a few breaths here.
When you are ready to lower down, bend your arms at the elbows, slowly tucking your chin under and lowering all the way down to the mat.
Feel free to do wheel a couple times and then after you have finished, take your knees and gently sway them side to side to release from the backbend.
If you already have basic wheel down, you can make it more challenging by lifting one leg. Try both sides for this as you may notice one side is easier than the other. Remember to keep your hips level here. No lopsidedness, haha, stay strong and point those toes for a pretty picture.
If you have the one leg variation down, another variation is to come down onto the forearms. From wheel, move one arm at a time down to the mat. Please be careful when trying this. You may want to try lifting one arm off the mat first to see if you can hold that.
Be careful and have fun!
- Strengthens and lengthens the vertebrae of the spine
- Stimulates the nervous system
- Heart opener
- Stretches the hip flexors
Share your pose on Instagram, tagging @bridgesthroughlife and hashtags #bridgesthroughlife #yogaworkshopFridays
I hope you enjoy this series. If you have any suggestions for what poses you would like me to break down, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or send me an email [email protected]