Dhanurasana is an excellent stretch that removes rigidity from the spinal column. It will also tone the belly while strengthening the organs in the abdominal cavity.
How do I prepare for bow pose?
A warm up is required for this pose, so it is best not to go straight into it. The intentions of this article and any article that I put out about yoga postures, is simply to make you more aware of the technical side of the poses in your yoga sequence.
So, when you get to dhanurasana, lay face down, bend your knees and reach back to grab your ankles. If you cannot yet grab your ankles, leave out dhanurasana for now. Be patient with your body. You can work with other postures such as early variations of salabhasana (locust pose).
Those who are more flexible can hold on to your shinbones moving closer to the knees as you develop further.
- Start by pushing your abdomen into the floor. That’s right your abdomen, not your hips.
- The arms and legs will feel like they are pulling against each other quite strongly. This will happen. Now with the mind convert the action by making the arms and legs work together to lift the toes higher.
- On the inhale push the belly stronger into the floor, keep that pressure, then on the exhales lift the toes higher still.
- Work with the breath, allow a little movement, and avoid keeping the pose stagnant.
- Keep your chin horizontal, and the top of the head reaching up to the ceiling.
Using the imagination is very useful with this kind of work. So in this case imagine that you are a bow. The body from the head to the knees resemble the bow. The arms and the shinbones are the string. The hands and feet is where the archer is pulling the string to maximum length to shoot the arrow at highest speed!
Hold anywhere from 5 to 10 breathes, be watchful of where the tensions are in the spine. Come down and relax as soon as you need to, then give it another go!
Throw in the technique of lightening the mind, a tense mind will only make the body tense. Keep the face muscles also relaxed, and you will find the pose to be a breeze in no time!
This much for today