Yoga is not about how many poses you can do, but rather through the hard work, whether you can improve yourself bit by bit, eventually achieve the goal you have set for yourself at the beginning. There shouldn’t have any comparison with others, you just need to become a better self.
Urdhva Dhanurasana is the culmination of backbends, and so was beyond my reach initially. I experienced pain in my lower back and shoulders every time I tried it. Then I googled to find out how to achieve it efficiently – through a sequence of poses that slowly helped me to build up to Urdhva Dhanurasana. The focal points for Urdhva Dhanurasana include flexibility along the front body, specifically in the quadriceps, hip flexors, intercostal muscles, shoulders and wrists; and strength and stability in the sacrum, arms, shoulders and wrists.
Dolphin push-ups and Chaturanga strengthened the backs of my arms, which gave me the power to push myself up into wheel. Dhanurasana enlivened the action of my legs, chest, and pelvis. Its similarity to Urdhva Dhanurasana (in action and shape) made it an ideal preparation. Lastly, ‘Wall walks’ is the most helpful exercise that eased me into this pose coming from a standing position and made me aware of my fear.
After a period of time practicing the preparation poses, one day, I was suddenly able to lift up to Urdhva Dhanurasana easily, without feeling any discomfort in my body. Urdhva dhanurasana increases the vital force around the heart, as well as the distributive force throughout the body, thus increasing the breadth of courage and awareness. The pose stimulates both mind and body and gave me the sense of achievement and the ultimate embodiment of yoga: fearlessness and joy.