Urdhva Dhanurasana

Urdhva Dhanurasana

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Prepare a padded surface, such as a yoga mat or a folded blanket or towel. Lie on the floor facing upwards. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor as close to your buttocks as possible. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor beside your head, with your finger pointing towards your shoulders.

2. Exhale, and push your tailbone upwards, whilst pressing down with your feet and arms, lifting your buttocks off the floor. Firmly press your hands into the floor, firm your shoulder blades against your back and lift up onto the crown of your head. Keep your arms parallel, and use them to maintain balance.

3. Push your feet and hands into the floor, and your tailbone and shoulder blades against your back, and then on an exhalation straighten your arms and lift your head off the floor. Turn your upper arms outwards, and keep your weight ont he balls of your hands.

4. Stay in this for only 5 to 10 seconds, or for several breaths, then exhale and release, slowly returning to the floor. Repeat several times.

BENEFITS:

This pose stretches the chest and lungs, while strengthening the legs, buttocks, abdomen, spine, arms and wrists. It stimulated the organs of the neck and abdomen, and can be therapeutic for the symptoms of asthma, back pain and osteoporosis. Mastery of this pose improves posture and balance and helps to relieve stress and fatigue, as well as increasing energy and counteracting depression.

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