We are on Day 8 of the April Yoga Challenge and today’s pose is, Full Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana) or if your not a yogi…a backbend. Just like we used to love to do when we were little — and they are still just as fun!When pushing up into Full Wheel, you find an incredible opening in so many areas of the body – back, hips, chest & shoulders. Backbends are said to be an energizing heart opener and when practiced often you can really feels these positive effects – mind, body & soul. They will increase spinal flexibility while strengthening your arms & legs. Physically, I like to take Full Wheel to open up thru the front of my hips (hip flexors), feel a stretch thru my abdominal wall and psoas (this is awesome after an intense core workout) feel my spine elongate & my chest expand. Emotionally, this pose gives me energy & just makes me happy. Again, if your not a yogi, this may sound silly to you…for real tho – backbends make you happy.

Here are a few variations of this fun posture…

Full Wheel – Urdhva Dhanurasana

Full Wheel - Yoga - Lauren Schwaiger

Traditional Full Wheel Pose

Wheel Pose - Yoga - Lauren Schwaiger

One Legged Wheel Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana
Ah, I just love this variation – so beautiful & graceful.

Forearm Wheel Pose - Yoga

Forearm Wheel Pose
Another awesome variation which for me personally, feels ahhhmazing because I tend to be ridiculously tight in my chest & shoulders. I can feel the effects of this deep backbend pretty much immediately.
Happy, Open Heart
This requires quite a bit of flexibility in your back but even more so in your thoracic spine (upper back)

Lauren Schwaiger - Yoga

aaaand just for kicks. last backbend of the day while on my walk/run on the Greenway this evening.

Much Love, xx

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