Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
- lie on your stomach
- reach back and grab your feet two inches below the toes
- make sure the wrists are straight THUMBS TOUCHING YOUR INDEX FINGERS
- INHALE look up, kick up…kick back, then up
- roll forward, two feet in one line from the side
- balance on the center of your abdomen
- hold for 20 seconds, breathing normal or 80/20
- slowly lower down
- lie still, ear on the floor, arms at your sides – relaxed
- massages abdomen – good for acid reflux type indigestion
- opens the heart lung channel – make sure you have a tight grip on your feet because the thumb/index finger junction is the root of this channel. it transverses through the arms and across the chest for an open heart surgery action.
- improves functioning of all the major abdominal organs (liver, intestines, pancreas, kidneys).
- the harder you kick, the deeper your backbend. the deeper your backbend, the more intense the kidney compression.
- revitalization of the spinal nerves through increased circulation
- improves hip and shoulder flexibility
THE TIPS AND TRICKS:
- if you can’t hold the whole 20 seconds, don’t worry, slowly increase the duration of the hold day by day, little by little. lack of endurance, bad knees, high blood pressure, and bad cramping are legitimate issues that will improve with frequency and intensity of practice.
- let the arms and shoulders relax. without realizing it, you could be holding on in that area adding unnecessary tension to the pose. let it go. remember – think open heart surgery. untangle your heart strings.
- relax your face. need i say more? who needs extra tension in the face!
- don’t allow your knees to flare out to the sides. peek in the front mirror and make sure they are invisible behind you. if they are doing the flare-out-to-the-side thing, kick back less. roll forward more.
- remember, the therapeutic hot yoga is for everyone. don’t compare or compete. with repitition over time, you will start to discover the inside out benefits of all the postures. take your time. don’t be hard on yourself.
Written by Hot Yoga PHL instructor/studio director, Katelynn. Katelynn is a yoga instructor and practitioner of Ayurveda She is the director of Hot Yoga Philadelphia, Half Moon Ayurveda and Integrative Health and also the the founder of Philly Yoga Factory, a non-profit organization making yoga and integrative healing arts accessible to underserved communities in Philadelphia. Katelynn practices Ayurveda, organizes workshops, and teaches yoga at her yoga/ intergrative health clinic in Center City Philadelphia.