How To Do Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Why Practice Bow Pose?
Whether it's on the couch, or at the office, many of spend too much time sitting. We become closed off, both physically and emotionally.
Backbends are the perfect antidote to this modern-day pitfall. In this article we're going to look at one in particular that will open up the whole front side of your body, and leave you alert, de-stressed, and energised. This pose is of course Bow Pose, or Dhanurasana.
Bow pose is aptly named after the shape of an archers bow that it imitates. There many variations of this pose- side bow, kneeling bow, half bow, and standing bow, all which can serve as great alternatives, or preparatory poses for the full Dhanurasana.
What Are The Benefits Of Bow Pose?
Opens chest and shoulders
Energises the body
Provides Stress Relief
How To Perform Bow Pose?
1) Lie on your belly, with your hands by your side
2) Bend your knees and reach back and take hold of the outer egde of your feet
3) Make sure your pubic bone is pressing into the groud, and your tail bone is lengthening toward your knees
4) On the inhale press feet into hands to lift chest and thighs off the floor
5) Keep actively pressing the backs of feet into the hands, feeling an opening across the chest, and activation of the back muscles
6) Stay for a few breaths, breathing into your chest and ribs, allowing the body to rock naturally forward and back
7) Exhale to lower, then gently release your ankles
8) To go deeper into the pose, bring the thighs closer together, and consider 'flipping' your grip, so that your elbows point forward.
Bow Pose Modifications
With a yoga strap-
Place a yoga strap around your ankle. Hold the opposite end of the strap. Work slowly towards closing the gap between foot and hand.
With a yoga bolster-
Use a yoga bolster or rolled up blanket under your hips to elevate them and make the pose a little less intense, and a little more restorative. You can really take your time and enjoy the opening of the front body in this variation.
Who Should Avoid Bow Pose?
Avoid Bow pose if you have any of the following contradictions:
High or low blood pressure
Back or neck injury