Remember that with all yoga poses you should listen to your own body and if you feel any discomfort or unease stop practising and seek assistance from a yoga and/or medical practioner.
Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel/Upward Bow)
This pose appears in many hatha yoga classes as well as in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series
Backbends expand and stretch the chest and shoulders and strengthen the back muscles. Urdhva Dhandurasana increases flexibility of the spine and can be counterposed by forward bends such as Balasana (Childs Pose)
General caution for this pose should be taken if you have any issues with wrist or shoulder injury, pregnancy and high blood pressure.
Urdhva means upward. Dhanu means Bow. Asana literally means ‘seat’ but is generally understood to mean ‘pose/posture’