This is how my urdhva ddhanurasana looks these days. It’s visible that I worked on back bending.
My understanding about back bending deepened. It allowed me to work with different body parts separately.
The leg muscles need to be strong in order to come out of the pose. Equally important is to stretch them.
Most of us have a sedentary life. Many Ashtanga practitioners practice primary for years these days. The hip flexor is shortened therefore. This makes back bending difficult. To stretch the hip flexor takes time, it comes with discomfort. Yet finally flexibility can improve. In order to stretch the hip flexors I add exercises during my practice. I work on the splits every day as well.
The entire body can get lengthened if one hangs over a high chair so that feet and hands are in the air. One can also hang at a bar.
To stretch the shoulders and upper body made a huge difference for my back bending ablilities.
The arms need to be strong in order to lift up the body. Isolated strength training can be done.
It’s also important to get into the pose correctly.
Deep breathing supports the movement.
A goal is to feel good when performing an asana. To stretch and to work on strength comes with discomfort. Otherwise nothing happens. Yet finally an asana can bring joy. It can be possible to relax in an awkward looking position. Sometimes I reach this status, sometimes not. Often an asana feels better at the second and third attempt. Not to give up too early can be rewarding.
My yoga week has started. The first surya namaskars is always a bit stiff, but soon the body woke up.
Explore your possibilities.
Life is an experiment. Be courageous.