The upward bow pose, also referred to as the wheel yoga pose, is a classic backbend asana. This yoga posture has a plethora of health benefits, but beginners must perform it with caution to prevent discomfort or pain. Beginners can also utilize yoga props such as yoga blocks to make it easier to perform the upward bow pose. Before attempting the upward bow pose (wheel yoga pose), perform the bhujangasana, virasana, urdhva mukha svanasana and setu bandha svanasana as preparatory poses to warm up the muscles for this full body stretch. These preparatory poses will prevent injuries, muscle strains and cramps!

Step by Step Instructions

Follow these simple guidelines to perform the upward bow pose sequence!

  1. Lie down on your back on the yoga mat with your feet placed parallel to one another, hip distance apart.
  2. Position your hands on the mat right above your shoulders. Keep your fingers splayed out, and place them in such a way that they point towards your shoulders.
  3. Gradually use your feet your feet to raise your hips and lower back off the yoga mat. Then gradually raise your upper torso using your hands for support. Lift yourself up till the top of your head is in slight contact with the mat.
  4. Now stretch and straighten your arms out so that your head is raised and is no longer in contact with the mat.
  5. Maintain the upward bow pose for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute. Exit the pose by bending the arms and legs and lowering your spine onto the mat.

Health Benefits           

Take a look at the numerous health benefits of the upward bow pose!

  1. Acts as a stimulant for the thyroid gland and pituitary gland.
  2. Therapeutic for depression, asthma, infertility, back pain and osteoporosis.
  3. Increases energy.
  4. Stretches and strengthens the chest and lungs.
  5. Stretches and strengthens the back, abdominal muscles, buttocks, wrists, arms and legs.

Things to Remember!

Individuals with headache, diarrhea, carpal tunnel syndrome, heart problems, blood pressure problems and back injuries should refrain from attempting the upward bow pose (wheel yoga pose). Enlist the help of a qualified yoga teacher who can suggest modifications of the pose according to your condition.