I like urdva dhanurasa (and urdva dhanusara mandala) because it is a beautiful heart opening with a strong connection to the earth. It is about freedom, release and centering. A reminder of how good it is to be alive and pulsing.
When I first tried yoga, it felt like nothing I had practiced before. After my very first class, I could feel that through the breath my entire body had been cleansed and filled with some kind of joy. Then I went through another phase. A tough one. My father died, I was 28. And the yoga practice was the only time when I would not feel like I was in bits. It was the only time when I would bring myself to the present time and could no longer let myself roam in past memories. Since then, I have become a yoga teacher, and it has made my practice even more important to me. My teaching comes from the experience that emotions, body and breath are intertwined and yoga gives you tools to understand who you are. And tools to improve how you react to the complexity of life. It is about freedom, the freedom to become who you truly are.
In my opinion, the ashtanga yoga system is a very intelligent path to yoga. Not only can your body organically feel how well thought trough the sequencing is, but you are also empowered by the need for memorizing theses sequences. To me, it is as if the ashtanga series were mantras, instead of voicing them out, you express words and vibrations through your entire body with asanas and breath. It is about transformation, freedom and life.