sukha for the day

upper back tension sufferers! if you're feeling anything like us and need some heart opening goodness... 

photo: lois greenfield

Urdhva dhanurasana, like all poses, benefits our body, mind, energetic systems, and emotions in unique ways. By encapsulating the essence of backbending, the pose propels us toward the ultimate embodiment of yoga: fearlessness and joy.

Sukha, the Sanskrit term for ease, happiness, or pleasure, literally means “good space.” The masters tell us we suffer (duhkha) because “stuff” overshadows the inherent goodness of our inner space. It settles between cells, organs, vertebrae, along medians, and in our fields of perception. The glory of backbends is their ability to disperse this “stuff,” thus revealing our natural state of ease.

Urdhva dhanurasana increases the vital force around the heart (pran), as well as the distributive force (vyana) throughout the body, thus increasing the breadth of courage and awareness. The pose stimulates both mind and body—the net result is exultation, awakening radiance, delight, and compassion.

originally posted on yoga international