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Bow pose, also named Dhanurasana in Sanskrit, is an excellent heart-opening backbend pose. This pose, which strengthens your back while stretching your hip flexors and quads (front of thighs) as well as your shoulders and chest, is a great way to deeply stretch your body and lessen the effect of a prolonged sitting position.

How to Bow pose

  1. Start lying on your stomach with your hands by your side.

  2. Bend your knees and grab the outer edge of your ankles.

  3. Press your pubic bone down, engage your core muscles, draw your lower belly in and up.

  4. On an inhalation, flex your feet, press your ankles in your hands, lifting your chest and thighs off the floor.

  5. Roll your shoulder blades down and towards each other to open your chest.

  6. Continue to press your shins back and away from your hands as you reach your sternum forward and up, balancing on your navel.

· Hold for 5–10 breaths.

· To come out of the pose, on an exhalation bend your knees and lower your legs to the floor. Then release your grip.


This pose:

✨ Strengthens back body (back, glutes and thighs).

✨ Stretches abdomen, chest, shoulders, hip flexors, quadriceps (front thighs).

✨ Relieves back pain, constipation, fatigue, anxiety and hunchback.

✨ Improves energy, concentration and overall posture.

✨ Helps reduce the negative effects of prolonged sitting or inactivity.

✨ Stimulates abdominal organs.

✨ Increases mobility in shoulder joints.


➡️ Bend your elbows and pull your feet towards you.

➡️ Open your knees to the sides wider than hip-width apart

➡️ Crush your neck

➡️ Compress your lower back

➡️ Hold your breath


If Bow Pose is too hard for you to perform safely, try these 4 variations to realize on your mat instead:

1/ If you find it hard to grab both of your ankles, practice Half Bow Pose by extending your right leg back, resting on your right forearm while taking the left ankle with the left hand.

2/ If you find it difficult to balance in Bow Pose, try it while you lie on one side on your mat.

3/ If it is challenging to reach your ankles, place a strap around your ankles to extend your reach. You can clasp the strap behind your back or you can reach above and hold the strap from overhead.

4/ If you find it difficult to lift your thighs away from the floor, give your legs an assist by lying with your thighs supported on a folded or rolled-up blanket.

8 poses to improve your BOW pose

Below I have selected a few asanas that can help you develop the flexibility and strength needed to perform Bow pose:

◼️Top left corner: Cobra pose variation - Bhujangasana

◼️Top center: Camel pose - Ustrasana

◼️Top right corner: Warrior I pose variation - Virabhadrasana I

◼️Center-right: Bridge pose - Setu Bandhasana

◼️Lower right corner: Upward-Facing Dog pose - Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

◼️Lower center: Extended Side Angle pose - Utthita Parsvakonasana

◼️Lower left corner: One-Legged Camel pose - Ekapada Ushtrasana

◼️Center-left: Reclining Hero pose - Supta Virasana

◼️Center: Bow pose – Dhanurasana


➡️ You can stay in each of these poses for 10 breaths before moving on to the next. And don't forget to repeat on the other leg if applies.

➡️ You can use blocks, books, blanket or any kind of supports to help you in each of these poses.

➡️ This asana requires strength and flexibility to perform. Be patient, gentle in your movements and listen to your body.

Come on your mat, enjoy this mini sequence and share your practice.

And if you have a bit of time, let me know in the comments section below how this practice was for you, I cannot wait to know and to read you!

With love,

Anne Po.

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