Happy November, Zamis! The last month of Spring is upon us and that means one very important thing… Summer is coming!
Our Zamasana for this month can be a challenging backbend, but it’s important to remember what backbends really are: heart openers. So, let’s all open our hearts together to the oncoming warmth of Summer, to the gratitude towards the year that was 2017, and to the joy (not the stress!) of the nearing Christmas season.
The Wheel, or Upwards Bow Pose, is also known by its Sanskrit name as Urdhva Dhanurasana. This energy-boosting pose is an arm-, leg-, and spine-strengthener, as well as a good little core workout in the process. Backbends can release some anxiety from the body, so if this happens to you during the Wheel, breath through it and if need be, slowly come out of the pose.
Lie on the floor and bend your knees, drawing soles of feet towards buttocks. Bend your arms and place palms of hands flat on the floor, fingers facing towards your shoulders.
Inhale, activate leg muscles and, while pushing soles of feet into floor, exhale as you raise hips to the sky. Keep feet and thighs parallel and buttock muscles activated. Take a full breath or two before pressing hands into floor and raising shoulders and lifting up onto crown of head.
Keeping arms parallel, take a full breath then press into feet and hands and activate legs, arms and core as you lift crown of head off the ground.
While in the pose, turn the thighs in a slightly internal rotation and keep them firm. Broaden shoulder blades and be conscious of not overly tensing neck and jaw. Breathe freely.
To come out of the pose, gently rest crown of head on your mat then curl your neck along the mat as you release the arms and reconnect your spine with the ground. Windscreen wiper your legs and hug knees to chest to release lower back.