Here is a photo of Urdhva Dhanurasana with arrows indicating directions of engagement and extension, integration and expansion, and rotation. I used the sketch effect to convey the "work-in-progress" nature of this (and all) postures.
Though oversimplified in some ways, the arrows indicate ways to work in the pose. They provide directions and actions that might be of help in understanding, refining and deepening your backbends. Of course there is more, always much more.
One of the drawbacks of this type of diagram is that it does not indicate the sequence in which to apply these particular actions. That's crucial because the order in which we perform actions and refinements in a pose progressively build from one to another. Here are some general guidelines for sequencing actions within a pose:
- Set a clear, balanced foundation first. Connect with your breath. Focus your attention. Then:
- Apply actions that integrate, draw in and engage energy toward the core and midline before those that extend, expand and create length, width, and opening from the centre out.
- Create Internal rotation of limbs before external rotation.
Take note of what happens as you work to deepen your pose. And remember that this, like all charts, maps, and diagrams are only a representation of the actual territory and not the experience of being there yourself.