Asana – Urdhva Dharunasana Aka Wheel Pose

Urdhva Dharunasana is also known as upward facing bow or wheel pose. It is considered an intermediate or advanced, intense backbend pose.
It is commonly misunderstood by others that only people with bendy back could achieve the pose. Little to known, strength is much needed in many different parts of the body to get into the pose safely.
No doubt warm up is needed for chest opening, strong legs and arms and bending of the back. However, the technique to get into the pose is as equally important as the warm up.
Below are the common mistakes that I am going to point out on the wheel pose.
Do this
Not this
Many times both flexibility and strength are much needed for most asanas. To get into wheel pose, I suggest doing some daily chest and upper body opening poses like Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Wide Legged Forward Bend C (Prasaritta Padottanasana), Bow pose (Dhanurasana), Camel pose (Ustrasana), Upward Facing Dog (Ardhva Mukha Svanasana) or a simple Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) is good to go. Alternatively, you could support yourself with the wall for any back bends or chest opening exercises.
One is also encouraged using a block or straps to place in between the knees or feet to prevent both splaying to the sides. This is to prevent any knee or joint injury and also to support you to get into the pose correctly.
No matter which pose you want to get into, ultimately we must be kind and compassionate to our body by listening to the “warning and signs” signaling to you. Let’s all practice with an open mind and most importantly, continue to smile and breathe!
Brandy Yang
200 Hrs YTT 2015

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