Warrior II Pose
March 27, 2015
Wide Seated Forward Bend
March 26, 2015

Wheel Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Urdhva Dhanurasana
(OORD-vah don-your-AHS-anah)
urdhva = upward
dhanu = bow

BENEFITS

  • Lengthens the hip flexors and strengthens the hamstrings
  • Detoxes kidneys and adrenal glands
  • Strengthens the spine extensors, arms, legs, and abdomen
  • Opens the chest, throat, and heart center
  • Elevates energy and relieves depression
  • Stimulates the thyroid

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Cervical spine pathologies
  • Shoulder pathologies
  • Low back pathologies
  • Ankle, knee, hip, or wrist injury

HOW TO

  1. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and draw your heels toward your sitting bones.
  2. Inhale and root down into your feet. Begin to firm your glutes and lift the pelvis upward, off the floor. Exhale and engage the inner thighs to keep them parallel.
  3. Inhale and press your palms into the floor alongside your head, with fingertips facing the shoulders. Extend your arms and lift your head off the ground. Be sure to you’re your wrists in line with your elbows, and allow the head to hang heavy between them.
  4. Exhale and allow yourself to settle into this shape. Hold this pose for up to 5-10 slow breaths.
  5. To exit, lift through the torso on an inhalation. Then slightly tuck your chin and release to the mat on an exhalation. Slowly draw your knees to your chest.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

Modifications:

  • Stay in Bridge pose or utilize a wider stance in the legs.
  • Feel free to come in and out of the posture, rising on inhale and relaxing on exhale.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Press through the feet and palms.
  • Lift your hips upward and engage your glutes.
  • Keep the elbows extended and the feet firmly rooted into your mat.
  • Let the head hang heavy.

VARIATIONS

  • Lift the right or left leg and extend the knee upward. Feel free to change legs.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Knees and feet splaying to either side
  • Hands and feet too wide or too close
  • Hunched shoulders