Urdhva Dhanurasana and Their Benefits

The splendid showcase of extreme physical flexibility and molding of the body into different art forms by the professional contortionists surely leaves us open-eyed. Well, deep within all of us lies a contortionist waiting to be explored in its full glory.

Discover the inner performer in you on a holistic level. The science of yoga gives every individual an opportunity to dwell into the practice of Urdhva Dhanurasana– an advanced back bend pose, an act of displaying orchestrated movements in synchronization with the breath for the enlistment of body, mind, and soul.

Practice Urdhva Dhanurasana with dedication and effort to witness its rewards for the body, mind, and soul. Follow the instructions below for performing the pose:

1. Lie in supine on a yoga mat. Bend at the knees and place the feet close to the sitting bones.

2. Fold the elbows, keep the forearms perpendicular to the floor, and rest the palms beside the ears with fingers pointing towards the shoulders.

3. Press the hands and feet into the ground to push the body up and above from the floor on an exhalation.

4. Gently, come into an Urdhva Dhanurasana stance with arms parallel to the yoga mat and shoulder blades against the back.

5. Drop down the head and look at the floor.

6. Hold this pose for 20 seconds in the beginning and gradually increase the length of the time.

Modify the Pose using Props:

1. Practitioners with tight armpits and groins can support the hands and feet on a yoga block.

2. Secure a strap around the thighs to keep them hip-width apart and parallel to the ground.

Health Benefits of Urdhva Dhanurasana:

1. Opens the Accessory Muscles: The human body is composed of numerous muscles performing diverse functions and are often deprived of the care and attention they deserve. One such type is the intercourse muscles in the ribs responsible for opening and shrinking of the rib cage during breathing exercises. Wheel pose duly notices the importance of intercourse muscles and gives them a good stretch for an optimal functioning.

2. Strengthens the Arms and Shoulder Girdles: If you struggle with weak arms, wrists, and tight shoulders, then urdhva dhanurasana is worth all the effort and pain. During the practice of this pose, the arms, wrists, and shoulders are actively engaged that helps in creating strength in these body parts along with strengthening the legs, spine, hips, and increasing flexibility.

3. Lengthens the Spine: Our spine has to suffer a lot owing to the constant sitting and poor postural ways. Also, as we age, the spine compresses. Urdhva Dhanurasana is an effective yogic tool that lengthens the spine and creates the necessary space between the spine keeping it healthy and strong.

4. Fuels the Body and Mind: A few seconds in the upward wheel pose is enough to make the practitioners feel energized. And, a regular performance of Urdhva Dhanurasana enhances hormonal secretion keeping the body-mind in a vitalized and relaxed state.

5. Stimulates the Thyroid Glands: Biologically, the Thyroid glands secrete hormones into the body responsible for the efficient working of the body cells. The Urdhva Dhanurasana is an exercise that stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands helping them to function properly which, in return, takes care of the human body system.

6. Natural Slimming Effect: The stretching of the body in Urdhva Dhanurasana potently reduces fat buildup from the oblique areas. A devoted practice of this pose is directed towards natural slimming and toning of the body.

7. Therapeutic for Osteoporosis: The Urdhva Dhanurasana extends therapeutic benefits for back pain and osteoporosis. Practice this pose with the right alignment to savor the health rewards of Urdhva Dhanurasana along with protecting the practitioners from osteoporosis.

8. It’s a Heart Opener: Open your heart to the feelings of love, kindness, and compassion with the urdhva dhanurasana. It is an excellent heart-opener that expands the chest benefitting the practitioner physically and emotionally.

 Fold your body into the Urdhva Dhanurasana and leave the mat feeling more energized and alive than ever.

To know about Urdhva Dhanurasana in further detail, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India. Share

Summary: Providing the utmost thrust to your back is important for increasing the chances of a healthy life. Just make an effort to master the fantastic Urdhva Dhanurasana to keep your spine and the other crucial body parts supple.

As you grow older, the consequences of a not-so-active lifestyle start showing on numerous body parts easily. You frequently start encountering pain in the back, the heart seems more vulnerable and your lungs find it difficult to breathe properly. But, this situation is positively avoidable, if you make it a point to start practicing yoga before it is too late. The Urdhva Dhanurasana is one such yoga pose that can help you minimize the ill-effects of a lazy routine. Popularly called the “wheel pose,” the health benefits of Urdhva Dhanurasana are countless, as even medical science approves the importance of this pose for attaining physical and emotional well-being.

Things that make Urdhva Dhanurasana worth a try!

Typically, Urdhva Dhanurasana is a back bend pose that belongs to the family of the Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. When you attain the right pose, it appears pretty much like a wheel or an upward bow. However, the real essence of this asana becomes evident when you start reaping these benefits from Urdhva Dhanurasana:

Additional Strength in Spine: With the passage of age, spine compresses and becomes a few inches shorter. This sudden shortness might lead to an improper functioning of the backbone and cause lots of pain. In this situation, practicing the wheel pose can help you in strengthening and lengthening the vertebrae that will further make the spine more flexible.

Relief from Lung Diseases: Practicing this asana for a long time could help in increasing the size of the chest. Once your chest starts getting bigger, it allows more oxygen intake inside which further provides strength to the lungs. This fantastic development can obviously bring you much relief in respiratory diseases. However, you must remember to do this asana perfectly and take deep breaths while practicing Urdhva Dhanurasana.

Helps in Losing Weight: The Wheel Pose requires you to do lots of stretching that helps in burning unnecessary fat from the body. Within a few months, you can actually start looking slimmer. This pose can help you in increasing the flexibility of your hips and develop a toned physique.

Boost to the Heart: Heart badly needs repair when it gets broken from bad experiences of life. In order to prepare your heart for more fun-filled moments of life, you can consider this pose. Even expert yogis recommend this asana as it is found to open the heart chakra that enhances your prospect for love and happiness. Scientifically speaking, Urdhva Dhanurasana balances the energy of the heart and brings positive transformation in a miraculous manner!

Control of Hormonal Imbalance: Within a few months of practicing this pose, your hormone level gets normalized that improves the nervous system. Besides, the wheel pose also helps in stimulating the thyroid glands and keeps you in a robust health throughout a lifetime.

Management of Stress: Chakrasana is widely considered as an asana that has the power to fight depression. This happens due to the typical and slightly difficult nature of this pose that requires you to be extremely attentive while doing it. This focused approach eventually grows your confidence and keeps stress and anxiety at bay. If your job requires you to handle challenging situation regularly, then you must make an effort to practice the Wheel Pose to deal with tense situations calmly.

Activation of The Seven Chakras: Every sincere yogi dreams of activating their chakras to experience that special spiritual power inside. Well, you are on the right track, if you are trying to master Dhanurasana. This asana can enhance your chances to activate all the seven chakras by keeping the body in absolute harmony.

The many health benefits of Urdhva Dhanurasana can definitely motivate you to learn this pose as soon as possible. Being a regular practitioner of this asana ensures you a strong set of arms, shoulders, legs and an extremely flexible body.  However, you must try to take proper assistance from a qualified yoga instructor before doing it even for the first time. Remember, any wrong step while doing this asana could break your spine and leave you in unbearable pain and suffering.

Urdhva Dhanurasana is a Sanskrit name which when broken down it means “upward bow pose.” The posture makes the spine to bend backward like a bow, thus the names upward bow, or full wheel pose. The pose has many health benefits such as heart and nervous system stimulation as well as mental clarity.

Attaining a perfect upward bow is not easy. To achieve its diverse health benefits, you have to grow into the pose through continuous training gradually. The journey is what makes it worthwhile not the results. The challenge helps your mind to focus and to be patient with your practice.  

In Urdhva Dhanurasana, the point is not running away from the challenge or gaining the perfect back bend on the first day. When you focus your mental energy on areas that may seem to be resisting movements, then ease into them gradually through a series of preparation poses.

Preparation Poses and Warm Up

Before you begin, take a few minutes to do preparation poses. To warm up your thoracic spine, make eight cycles of the Cat-cow pose.  Follow up the cat-cow pose with Surya Namaskar A combined with simple lunges pressing the back thigh upwards and the tailbone downwards.

After this, continue with Surya Namaskar B. The short stretching series will help in opening your chest, shoulders and the hip joints. To continue opening your shoulders, stretch the quadriceps, and strengthen the legs; sit on a block and assume a moderated Hero pose also known as viragoes with your arms in Gomukhasana position. Repeat the cycle as needed

Urdhva Dhanurasana in a 6 Steps Guide.

Step 1: With your back flat on the mat, spread the arms alongside you.  Bend your knees such that your soles will be parallel to the floor and your legs the same width as your hips. While on this position, draw in your heels to be as close to your bum as possible.  

Step 2: Lift your arms so that they’re above your head then bend the elbows such that your palms lie flat on the floor on either side of your head. Ensure that the palms are facing downwards and the fingers are spreading and resting beneath the shoulders.

Step 3: At this point, focus your mind on all your limbs. If you sense any resistance and dispel it out. Be intentional about staying in the moment. If there is any resistance or strain in your limb, focus on that first before proceeding to the next steps. When all is at ease, breathe in slowly and deeply then press the elbows towards the ceiling.  

Step 4: With your feet firmly on the floor, lift your hips upwards towards the ceiling. Your legs and your arms should be parallel to each other. To lift off your shoulders, breathe in deeply and press your palms firmly on the floor

Step 5: let your inner thighs and inner arms draw towards each other while your crown is slightly touching the mat. At this position, breathe in deeply and completely lift off the whole body with the focus of making a curve with your spine. Your neck should be relaxed and resting with gravity.

Step 6: Breathe easily and maintain the posture for a maximum of a minute before resetting and repeating up to 10 times if you need to.  To reset, lift off your head and move it towards your chest. Bend your knees and arms slowly before lowering your spine to the floor.

8 Benefits of Urdhva Dhanurasana

  1. The position helps to stretch your chest and expand your lungs for ease of breathing and general well being.
  2. It helps in toning and strengthening and stretching abdominal muscles.
  3. Strengthens your shoulders.
  4. Strengthens your wrists.
  5. It cancels out negative energy and emotions, therefore, eliminating depression
  6. It strengthens your buttocks and it’s a great way to extend your hips.
  7. Boosts energy levels and enhances mental clarity
  8. Strengthens your whole back chain, it activates your back body!

Scientific Facts Behind Upward Bow

Urdhva Dhanurasana is a challenging position that defies the mind, body, and emotions to break off fears and overcome trials. The process of achieving the position successfully despite its difficulties fills the soul with a feeling of joy and blissfulness.

Like any other yoga asana, it focuses on enhancing the already existing power and force around your pran and vyana as well as the heart. Focusing on existing force increases mental strength and a sense of awareness of what is within and around you. The result is a sense of fearlessness and unstoppable positive energy and achievement.

Physically, it strengthens the spine, arms, buttock muscles, wrist, neck muscles, lower back and shoulders giving them stability in the process.

Pr-Cautions of Urdhva Dhanurasana

Although this posture causes both physical and emotional well being, you should still observe precautions if you experience any of the following conditions.

1. High or low blood pressure: Steer clear of this posture if you have unstable blood pressure. The sudden spike in energy could deteriorate your health.

2. Headaches: Don’t engage in this position unless a physician clears you.

3. Injured back or shoulders; upward bow exerts a lot of force on the shoulders and the back. If you have an injury on your shoulders and back, it’s best not to try.

4. Pregnancy: Avoid this posture in your second and third trimesters to avoid back injury and strain.


Urdhva Dhanurasana is a beginner friendly position as it sets the pace of breaking away from fear and overcoming challenges. It helps in eradicating mental fogginess and increase rationality and focus. After mastering the posture, your sense of happiness, well being, and fearlessness will increase.

Also, you will experience a better physical strength for all the organs involved especially the spine, lower back, and legs. It will eliminate asthma, back problems, and infertility. You should practice the position daily on an empty stomach or six after eating. Mornings work best, but late evenings can work too if you don’t have time during the day.

Where to Start 

With one of our online yoga classes, Ashtanga Fundamentals or Yoga for beginners

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