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Urdhva Dhanurasana (Over Chair Back – First Variation)

A look at how to do Urdhva Dhanurasana (Over Chair Back - First Variation) in the Iyengar method.

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Over Chair Back – First Variation)

What is Urdhva Dhanurasana (Over Chair Back – First Variation)?

Supported backbend. The support of the chair provides a reference point for the height of the hips and the overall shape of the pose. It is useful to work to the chair before undertaking the pose from the floor to enable the curving action of the back ribs and the movement of the shoulder blades to be experienced. The support allows you to work more precisely into the anchoring of the legs and the lengthening action required of the arms.

When to use Urdhva Dhanurasana (Over Chair Back – First Variation)?

This pose can be beneficial for tightness in the shoulders and neck as the deep thoracic action required creates space for the shoulders to open and lengthens the spine. By curling over the chair, the trapezius is drawn down the back towards the buttocks, freeing up the neck. The support of the chair helps to build up confidence and prepares the arms and wrists for the full pose. Use of the chair is also of benefit if energy levels are low or if working with injuries.