Urdvha Dhanurasana is such an iconic pose, lecturers all over the world merely name it “backbend.” There’s no different posture like this. In case your instructor mentioned “OK everybody: arm stability,” would you’ve got any thought which pose to do? No. What in the event that they mentioned, “OK everybody: twist,” or, “standing pose,” “ahead bend,?” Nope.
Upward Bow represents a complete posture group—and is so ubiquitous in all present traditions of yoga—as a result of it’s so thorough. It stretches the quads, hip-flexors, abdominals, and shoulders whereas strengthening your complete again physique. The postures additionally engenders a debate about whether or not or not college students ought to have interaction the gluteals. Right here’s my tackle the dialogue.
HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
There are Three methods to make use of this weblog:
1. You may merely follow Urdhva Dhanurasana utilizing the illustration above.
2. You may study the steps get into the posture within the “How To” part.
3. Or you’ll be able to geek out on the sequencing and anatomy particulars by skipping right down to Half II.
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Sure, most college students profit from reasonably partaking their gluteus maximus in Upward Bow. Your glutes lengthen your hip joint—which is what provides you the flexibility to raise into the pose. I perceive why some lecturers have issues about utilizing the glutes on this posture, so let me provide you with three circumstances to make sure that partaking your gluteus maximus is helpful: 1) Give attention to partaking the decrease a part of the gluteus maximus close to your hamstring attachments. 2) Concurrently have interaction your adductors (inside leg muscular tissues) in order that your thighs don’t externally rotate when your glutes kick in. 3) Don’t have interaction your gluteus maximus so intensely that the contraction pushes your pelvis too far up into the posture. This may hyperextend your decrease again and produce extreme compression. To summarize: a bit of little bit of firmness with out going loopy is an excellent thought.
Crucial elements of your physique to heat up for Upward Bow are your quads and hip flexors. A number of Low Lunge Solar Salutations, Low Lunge Quad Stretch, Supta Virasana and King Arthur’s Pose work finest. In the event you’re unfamiliar with King Arthur’s Pose, here’s a tutorial. To heat your backbone, strive a easy development of backbends that embody Cobra Pose, Bow Pose (in your stomach), and Bridge Bose. Shoulder openers like Gomukhasana and Garudasana assist put together the higher physique for this backbend. If Handstand is a part of your repertoire, embody it in your preparations.
HOW-TO-DO URDHVA DHANURASANA (UPWARD FACING BOW POSE)
1. Lie again along with your ft hip width and your arms barely wider than your shoulders.
2. Take a gradual, deep, “the whole lot goes to be alright” breath.
3. Gently press your decrease again into the ground and raise your tailbone. Initiating the pose this fashion will assist your pelvis rotate the right course within the pose and reduce compression in your decrease again. Proceed lifting your up via your tailbone as you proceed via the next directions.
4. As you inhale, press down via your arms and ft, raise your physique barely off the ground, and place the highest of your head on ground. Deliver awaress to your ft and press down via your massive toes and inside heels—this can assist reduce the tendency for the ft to splay outward within the pose. Take a second to hug your elbows towards one another in order that your elbows keep shoulder-width aside.
5. As you exhale, press your arms and ft extra firmly into the ground and use this power to lift your physique into the posture.
6. Now that you just’re in Upward Bow, try the infographic above and refine your pose. Give your self Three to five breaths right here and repeat the pose just a few instances.
7. It’s tempting to rapidly bail out of the pose as quickly as you’re performed with it. As an alternative, follow decreasing slowly to the ground. The truth is, attempt to decrease down one vertebra at a time. Slowing your descent on this posture will strenghten your shoulders, strengthen you belly core, and assist decompress your decrease again.
8. Take a second or two after the pose and savor the sensations of your physique. In the event you’re like me, your favourite a part of Upward Bow is the second you’re performed.
IF I CAN’T DO UPWARD BOW YET, WHAT SHOULD I DO INSTEAD?
There are numerous, many causes that Upward Bow may be innaccessible. In the event you’re unable to do Upward Bow, it might be as a result of lack of mobility or lack of power. It’s additionally doable that you’ve discomfort in your wrists, shoulders, or knees that’s holding you again. Your finest guess is to do a mixture of postures that handle all of those components. Observe Cobra, Bridge Pose, and Reclined Backbend over a block on your backbone and shoulders; follow Low Lunge Sun Salutations and King Arthur’s Pose to open your shoulders; and, follow Handstand (or Half-Handstand along with your ft on the wall) to develop power. In case your wrists are uncomfortable in Handstand/Half-Handstand, follow Dolphin Pose as a substitute.
PART II: ANATOMY AND SEQUENCING FOR URDHVA DHANURASANA
WHICH MUSCLES DOES URDHVA DHANURASANA STRENGTHEN?
Upward Bow strengthens all of the posterior muscular tissues of your physique, the highest of your shoulders, and the again of your arms. Right here’s a extra detailed look:
Your hamstrings and glutes
Your hamstrings and gluteus maximus work collectively to increase your hips. Discover the candy spot the place you’re utilizing simply sufficient gluteal muscle to exend your hip with out gripping a lot that you just externally rotate your femurs.
Your adductors are working to stability the trouble of your gluteus maximus. By partaking your adductors, particularly your adductor magnus, you’ll assist preserve your thighs parallel within the pose.
Your spinal muscular tissues
Your whole spinal muscular tissues work to increase your backbone.
Your exterior rotators—infraspinatus, teres minor, and posterior deltoids—all have interaction to maintain your higher arms externally rotated within the pose; your deltoids work to flex your shoulders; your serratus anterior laterally rotates your shoulder blades.
Your triceps contract to straighten your arms.
WHICH MUSCLES DOES URDHVA DHANURASANA STRETCH?
Upward Bow stretches all of the anterior muscular tissues of your physique. Right here’s a extra detailed look.
Your whole quadriceps stretch in Upward Bow Pose. In fact, these muscular tissues additionally contract to assist straighten your knees which makes it more difficult for these muscular tissues to concurrently stretch. In the event you’re utilizing your hamstrings, glutes, and adductors correctly to assist the burden of your pelvis, your quads don’t need to work as laborious and they’re going to stretch extra successfully.
Your hip flexors
Your hip flexors—iliopsoas and rectus femoris—stretch in Upward Bow.
Your abdominals stretch—particularly your rectus abdominis. You might also get a gentle stretch in your intercostal muscular tissues.
Your chest and shoulders
Your latissimus dorsi, pectoralis main, and pectoralis minor all stretch in Upward Bow.