How to Do Yoga Bow Pose Properly?
We have four steps to do the dhanurasana. Here are the instructions:
- Stay on the floor with your face down. Bring your heels to your buttocks and grab your ankles (if you can not, start by picking up your insteps).
- Inhaling, stretch your legs up and back. You will feel that the muscles rise from the ground and that it is the impulse of your legs that raises your chest and head of the ground.
- Breathe and try to bring your legs back a little. Be careful not to collapse your lumbar area!
- Hold 5 to 10 breaths and do two sets in a row.
How Can We Correct our Alignment in Yoga Bow Pose?
This is a position commonly taught and practiced in many yoga courses, but I often see a number of error settings that occur here. These errors can cause pain or damage if repeatedly performed, but the good news is that they can be easily resolved when you know what to look for.
Let’s start with hand placement. Your hands must hold your ankles, do not grasp the top of the feet (which causes your shoulders to lift up your ears, i.e. the top right picture ). If you are having difficulty reaching your ankles, use a strap running around them or put a blanket under your hips.
Another common error occurs when the body begins to lift into the bag. As the chest and thighs rise from the floor, the knees open to the sides as seen in the top right picture. We want to keep your knee hip distance here and do not let them open anymore.
Bow Pose is a heart opener, and therefore we have to warm up on our back, chest, shoulders, thighs and hip pads before we perform this asana. If we do not, we tend to dump the entire bend into the low back, which can cause lower back pain and injury over time.
We also want to think of the arms and legs that draw straight together while the body lifts up. You can see in the top left picture that my legs do not just pull my arms so my body falls forward and my neck is strained.
Now let’s see the bottom left picture. Legs and arms are just pulling and lifting, the shoulders are relaxed, there is no strain on the neck, and the bend is evenly distributed over the back.
To help achieve this adjustment, think about relaxing the low back and engaging the upper and middle back. Also push the active leg down to the floor to protect the lower back.
What Are the Bow Pose Benefits?