To Finish

After you come down, roll to your side and gently push yourself up to Dandasana (Staff Pose). Take several breaths here in preparation for a series of quieting poses. Advanced backbcnds should always be followed by 15 to 20 minutes of quieting poses so you can bring your energy down in a progressive way, Rizopoulos says. Follow Dandasana with Janu Sirsasana (Hcad-of-the-Knee Pose), Paschimotta-nasana (Seated Forward Bend), Halasana (Plow Pose), Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shouldcrstand), Halasana, and a simple reclining twist.

Finish by spending a few minutes in either Savasana (Corpse Pose) or seated meditation. Observe the way your practice has affected the quality of your mind. Over time, you'll notice that practicing Urdhva Dhanurasana with patience, deliberation, and a spirit of inquiry will not only open and strengthen you physically but also teach you to be calm and focused on and off the mat. *

Karen Mack!in is a writer, editor, and yoga teacher living in San Francisco. Visit her at Natasha Rizopoulos teaches around the world and is featured in Yogajournal'i Step-bv-Step Home Practice System DVD series. For more information, visit


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