Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Dhanurasana
English Translation: Upward Bow Pose
Also Called: Wheel or Full Backbend
Benefits: Increases flexibility of the spine, opens the shoulders, and strengthens your upper back and things.
If you have shoulder, wrist or vertebral disk problems, you might want to skip this posture.
Start resting on your back with your knees bent over feet and shins perpendicular to the floor. Bring your arms overhead and bend at the elbows putting your forearms near your ears and palms by your shoulders and pointing your fingers toward your toes.
Inhale and press firmly into your hands and feet to come up to a backbend. Hold your knees in line with your hips and feet. Let your neck completely relax, and bring your gaze past your fingers.
Bring shoulders toward the space over your hands, moving the torso away from the feet. Try 3 breaths, then move up to five, ten. Slowly come down on the exhalation.
Modifcations: Place blocks against the wall and press your hands on the blocks.