Happy Hump-asana Day: Urdhva Dhanurasana/Wheel Pose

Oooooh hello, Hump-asana Day!

Today’s Hump-asana pose: Urdhva Dhanurasana/Wheel/Upward Facing Bow

Photo Credit: FitSugar

[I love me some wheel pose]

Aside from strengthening the wrists and opening the shoulders, urdhva dhanurasana does some magic opening up the front pelvis/groin area, which is why I heart u.d. The pros don’t stop at just the bendy-benefits, though – this pose stimulates the thyroid gland, which we all know regulates the metabolism [yay metabolism!]. And who doesn’t love heart openers? Bottom line: it’ll make you feel groovy. Of course, watch out if you have back/wrist injuries or high or low blood pressure. If you have health concerns or are just starting out, don’t fret because modifications abound: try bridge pose. Or, for a more wheel-like posture with less intensity, get on the ball – an exercise ball, that is. This way you can feel the stretch as if you were in full wheel but you won’t risk going too far.

If you feel proficient at the full expression of urdhva and you’re feeling really adventurous, try this yummy sequence that my teacher adores:

  1. From downward-facing dog, point the right leg up to the sky into three-legged downward-facing dog.
  2. Bend the right knee to the sky [yum#1].
  3. Shift into plank pose, retaining the bend in the right leg.
  4. From plank, roll to the left hand (as if you’re transitioning into side plank). Plant the ball of the right foot behind the body and lift up into wild thing [yum#2].
  5. Being especially mindful of the shoulders and wrists, from wild thing, flip all the way over into wheel [yum#3].
  6. When you’ve had enough yum factor, flip all the way over back into plank with the right knee bent, again being mindful of the shoulders and wrists.
  7. Extend the right leg up into three-legged downward facing dog. Relax the right leg down to meet the left.
  8. Repeat on left side.

Happy Hump-asana Day, fellow yogis! Get your minds out of the gutter – Hump-asana Day, traditionally known as Wednesday or “Hump Day” in lamens/working-folk tongue, is a mid-week yogi treat. Hump-asana Day features a snippet of a pose worth spending some time exploring. And since they’re ALL worth exploring, we’ll never run out of poses for Hump-asana Day – rejoice!

Published by Amanda Niznik

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2 Comments

  1. I really struggle with this pose. I even struggle with the modification. I know it’s not a competition but I avoid the wheel for this very reason.

    1. I completely understand. Have you tried using a block to support your hips in bridge? That might give you a nice release without being crazy intense. Or maybe try to splay yourself out on top of a ball? You know, I hear that the poses we avoid are precisely the ones that we need 🙂

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