Full Wheel ~ Urdhva Dhanurasana

First, I started with the Bridge pose ( Setu Bandha Sarvangasan), easing the back, arms and shoulder into it. I don’t have a photo of when I first did this pose, but here is one from the January past challenge:

Bridge, Setu Bandha Sarvangasan
January 23, 2015: Day 23 of the #JanNEWaryYogis Instagram challenge

Then, I graduated to full wheel, constantly working to drive the legs close to my arms, while keeping the arms straight. Lesley Fightmaster passed along some sound advice from her yogi teacher, “the only way to improve urdhva dhanurasana is to do urdhva dhanurasana”. To improve your backbends, do more backbends.

Full Wheel, Urdhva Dhanurasana
August 19, 2014: Doing yoga while watching X Factor

Full Wheel, Urdhva Dhanurasana
January 24, 2015: Day 24 of the #JanNEWaryYogis Instagram challenge
Full Wheel, Urdhva Dhanurasana
January 31, 2015: Quick morning yoga session before brunch with family and work.

I haven’t full pretzel-fied this backbend but I will continue to do so. In the meantime, I have moved on to a one-legged wheel, Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana, a full wheel backbend balancing with one leg up and one leg down.

One Legged Wheel, Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana
December 16, 2014: Some more yoga by our beautiful Christmas Tree

One Legged Wheel, Urdhva Dhanurasana
January 30, 2015: Feeling Flexy on a Friday

So now, the challenge is to straighten the leg up into the air, instilling strength while improving flexibility. It’s a difficult challenge and may take months and even years, but I will strive to reach goals that were never there one year ago.

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