Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana

Definition - What does Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana mean?

Eka pada urdhva dhanurasana is a challenging variation of dhanurasana and chakrasana.. The name comes from the Sanskrit, eka, meaning "one," pada, meaning "foot," urdhva, meaning "upward," dhanur, meaning "bow," and asana, meaning "pose."

To enter the pose, begin by lying face up on a yoga mat. Bending the legs, bring the heels in toward the sit bones. Extend both arms overhead, placing the palms on either side of the head, fingers pointing toward the shoulders and the elbows in. Mindfully lift the upper body and head off the floor, keeping the ribs in. Straightening the arms, bring a strong backbend into the spine coming into bridge pose. Bring the right knee in toward the torso then extend the right foot up toward the sky perpendicular to the ground. Breathe for a count of six to eight breaths then lower the right foot back to the ground. Tuck the chin in toward the chest and slowly lower the spine back onto the mat one vertebra at a time. Repeat on the opposite side.

Eka pada urdhva dhanurasana is known as one-legged upward bow pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana

Mastering both chakrasana and urdhva dhanurasana is recommended before moving on to eka pada urdhva dhanurasana. Though used interchangeably, urdhva dhanurasana and chakrasana are not the same. Chakrasana in its complete form involves bringing the hands and feet together on the floor so that the body resembles a perfect wheel whereas in urdhva dhanursana, the limbs are apart and resemble a bow turned upwards and hence called upward bow pose. Practising these both poses help one to perform eka pada urdhva dhanurasana.

Eka pada urdhva dhanurasana is a powerful heart opener and activates the anahata (heart) chakra. Balancing the anahata chakra promotes love, compassion and harmony.

Additional benefits of this asana include:

  • Increases feelings of self-love and compassion
  • Energizes both body and mind
  • Increases spinal flexibility
  • Soothes anxiety and depression
  • Promotes calm and serenity
  • Increases mental alertness
  • Improves balance
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