Wheel Pose

Tracey Kelley
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In Wheel Pose, also called Upward Bow Pose, it takes precision and breath control to release the pose.

Wheel Pose, or Urdhva Dhanurasana, is an intermediate to advanced inverted pose.

About Wheel Pose

Urdhva Dhanurasana in Sanskrit breaks down this way: urdhva means "upward" and dhanurasana means "bow". As with many inverted poses, you'll stimulate the thyroid and pituitary glands.

Other benefits of this asana include:

  • Relief from osteoporosis and asthma symptoms
  • Improves energy
  • Strengthens the back, arm, and leg muscles

Step into the Pose

How to Perform Wheel Pose:

  1. Lie in flat on the floor, arms at your sides.
  2. Raise your knees and bring your heels as close to your buttocks as is comfortable.
  3. Inhale, and bend your arms over your head, fingers spread toward your shoulders, palms flat on the floor.
  4. On an exhale, press into the floor with your lower body and firmly lift your buttocks up.
  5. Remain in this position through two or three breath cycles.
  6. Draw your shoulders down into your back, and on an exhale, press into the floor as you raise your upper body up, lowering the head to the floor slightly. Your arms should remain bent.
  7. Remain in this position for a couple more breaths.
  8. Straighten the arms and pull in on the inner thighs to form a supportive arch in the back. There should not be any strain on the back or wrists. Keep the knees and elbows in line with the hips and shoulders.
  9. Letting the head hang down toward the floor, hold the pose for 10 seconds.
  10. Release the pose by slowly lowering the upper body first, then the lower body.

If you have problems with blood pressure or a back injury, do not perform this pose. Learn more about Wheel Pose from Yoga Journal.

When you feel more confident in the pose, test your balance by going up on your toes.

Beginners

It is best to practice this pose with the guidance of a yoga teacher. This ensures that you will be able to release the pose safely. Try performing the posture with your arms against the wall for better support.

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Wheel Pose