Your Monthly Yoga Pose
Urdhva Dhanurasana I
“To everything, (turn, turn, turn)/there is a season, (turn, turn, turn)/and a time to every purpose, under heaven.” – “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds
As the year continues to roll, vacation season is ending, and we find ourselves ready for a change. Perhaps you are getting ready to start school again, begin a new quarter, and/or get your fantasy football teams set. August is the month where we want to begin to feel fall, but Florida weather tricks us and sends us storms and 100-degree heat. As we prepare for the change (whatever your upcoming change may be), make sure to have a steady hand on the wheel.
The pose of the month is wheel pose. This pose has many benefits but should be practiced after warming up the spine, the hips, and the heart.
- Warm up the body, including, but not limited to, the hip flexors, the triceps, the shoulders, the chest, and the spine.
- Begin laying on your back with your feet and heels near your hips and your knees bent. Maintain your feet and legs parallel to each other with your toes pointing away from your head.
- Bring your hands under your shoulders with the fingertips pointing toward your feet. Make sure your hands and arms are no more than shoulder distance apart.
- Inhale and exhale. On your next inhale, press your feet and hands into the mat and lift your hips. Leave the crown of your head on the mat if you cannot lift it yet. Make sure your feet and knees are still parallel. Breathe.
- If your head comes up, allow the head to hang and gaze behind you instead of down toward your hands or up toward the sky.
- Bring weight into the hands and feet. If able, come up onto the toes and/or straighten the legs.
- Press the heart to the sky and bring the navel toward the spine and the sacrum lifts up.
- Stay here for 5-8 breaths.
- On an exhale, let your hips come down.
- Pause and allow your spine to readjust then allow your knees to move from side to side to release the lower back.
Wheel has many benefits. It is an invigorating pose and, according to yogajournal.com, it increases energy and counteracts depression. It also stimulates the thyroid and pituitary gland. Wheel pose stretches the chest and lungs and strengthens the arms, wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and spine.
As the road of life turns, adjust your steering wheel.
“Think positive, because thoughts are like the steering wheel that moves your life in the right direction.”