Bound Angle Pose
April 8, 2015
Bridge Pose
April 8, 2015

Bow Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Dhanurasana
(don-your-AHS-anah)
dhanu = bow

BENEFITS

  • Lengthens the hip flexors and strengthens the hamstrings
  • Detoxes the kidneys and adrenal glands
  • Strengthens the spine extensors
  • Opens the chest and throat

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Cervical spine pathologies
  • Shoulder pathologies
  • Low back pathologies
  • Ankle, knee, or hip injuries

HOW TO

  1. Lie down on your belly. Begin to settle your chin on the mat to create length in the back of your neck. Allow your hands to settle along side body with palms facing the mat.
  2. Root down into your pelvic triangle and inhale, lifting the upper torso and lower legs.
  3. Exhale and begin to bend the knees. Then draw your arms out to the side and reach back to clasp the fronts of the feet.
  4. Inhale, press your feet into your hands, and draw the shoulder blades together to open the chest. The gaze remains forward.
  5. Exhale and allow yourself to settle into this shape.
  6. Hold this pose for 5-10 slow breaths.
  7. To exit, inhale and lift through the torso. As you exhale, release your arms and legs to the mat. Relax onto either cheek.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

    Alternatives:

  • Press to Cobra pose and bend the knees.
  • Slightly lift the upper torso and legs, together or separately.
  • Modifications:

  • Use the hands to support the upper torso.
  • Come in and out of the posture, rising on inhale and relaxing on exhale.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Keep the upper and lower spine lengthened.
  • Ground down into your pelvic triangle for support.
  • Reach through your crown and your toes, and begin to lift the upper torso and legs.
  • Keep space in the back of your neck, avoiding hyperextension or “crunching” of the neck.

VARIATIONS

  • Take a longer stance in the legs.
  • Gaze upward, toward the lifted hand, and place your bottom palm on the floor.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Low back pain or strain
  • Shoulder pain or strain
  • Overstretching of the shoulder joint