Asana of the Week: Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana
Name:Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana/One-Legged Upward Bow/One-Legged Wheel
Stretches: Full body
Body benefits: Strengthens the arms, wrists, legs, abdominals, and spine
Mind benefits: Increases energy and boosts mood
Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana translates literally as “eka” – one, “pada” – foot or leg, “urdhva” – upward, “dhanu” – bow and “asana” – pose.
It’s a variation of wheel pose, a heart-opening backbend said to ignite all seven of the chakras, keeping all the processes of the body in harmony with each other. Heart openers are intended to cure any broken hearts from our past, while allowing ourselves new opportunity for love; they require a bit of vulnerability, but you will soon be shining your heart and light to the world.
Only try this variation when you are comfortable enough in Upward Bow to hold the pose for at least 10 breaths with straight arms. Adding variety by lifting your leg is fun, but if your alignment is off, you can injure yourself quickly! Be sure to practice this pose with both legs to retain the full-body balance achieved in Upward Bow Pose.