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Essential Sequence: Ease into Urdhva Dhanurasana

Before we get to the post, a quick, shameless plug for my upcoming trainings. You can join me live at my 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2020 in San Francisco or London. I also have three separate online teacher trainings, focusing on arm balances & inversions, sequencing, or anatomy.

Urdhva Dhanurasana, aka Upward-Bow or Wheel Pose or simply “Backbend,” is an iconic pose in the yoga canon. Visually it represents the acrobatic flexibility that so many of us long for when we first begin the yoga practice. But too often the feeling of the pose doesn’t match that open, soaring look.

My first piece of advice when practicing Urdhva Dhanurasana is to focus on creating even sensations throughout your whole body when you do the pose. Instead of focusing on going deep, focus on creating evenness. When you practice this way, not only will the pose feel a whole lot better, you’ll be more apt to open the places that need it and derive the overall benefits of backbending! (An added benefit is that you potentially head off injuries because you’re not pushing past your edge).

This month’s sequence prepares you for Wheel Pose by opening the shoulders and upper back as well as the front sheath of the body — specifically the quadriceps and hip flexors. It also builds heat in the whole body. All of this should help you feel more ease, more space, more joy in your backbend.

There’s so much more to say about sequencing for backbends. If you want to find out more, I encourage you to check out my e-course, The Art of Yoga Sequencing. And, as always, please sign up for my mailing list if you want to get a monthly reminder when new sequences go up. Have fun practicing!

Quick side note: In the interest of keeping the sequence as easy-to-read as possible, we’ve chosen to write the poses out in English instead of Sanskrit this month.
Urdhva Dhanurasana Sequence | Wheel Pose | Jason Crandell Yoga Method
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{illustrations by MCKIBILLO}


    1. Bindu, Due to a family matter that needs attention, I’m unable to conduct the training in Singapore. I’m hopeful that I can reschedule it for next year. Please stay tuned.

  1. Thank you for taking the time to create such a clear diagram. I’m excited to try this. I love the words you use like “even sensations” and “creating more joy in your backbend”. Your style is so refreshing and brings a clear sense of peace. Thank you.

  2. hello sir
    am suffering with serious shetica pain. sever pain in my leg and back. no medicine prove effective.
    pls suggest some yoga poses ….. so that i could feel relieve from this pain…

    1. Hi Catherine — Yes. Jason is headed to Hong Kong and Singapore soon. Please check the schedule page for details jasonyoga.com/schedule

  3. Hi do you have other options for people not intersted in handstands, head stands etc.? Could you suggest in article if not in pictures? Thanks

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