The Bow or Dhanurasana


Dhanurasana (Erich Schiffmann)

Brings tremendous strength and elasticity to the back and spine. Stretches chest, shoulders, abdominal  muscles, thighs and increases the strength of the back, buttocks, legs. It tones the abdominal organs and stimulates the kidneys and adrenals.

My tips: By massaging the Liver, it also releases toxins which can give you a headache. Have water or tea  handy.  Go into the child posture, yoga mudra or tortoise after doing this asana.

Preparation pose for The Bow

1. Lie on your stomach with your chin on the floor and your arms by your sides with palms facing down. Bend your legs up so your thighs are flat on the ground and calves perpendicular to the ground and bring your feet together.

2. On an inhalation, bring up your upper body from the ground. As you exhale, move up your legs further. Maintain this position as you breathe out and on the next in breath, move up your legs further. When you cannot lift your legs any higher, turn your head upwards and gaze at the ceiling.

The Bow

1. Lie face down on the floor and clasp your ankles, one by one if easier.Pull in your abdominal muscles and press your pubic bone into the floor. Open your chest and roll your shoulders back. Rest your forehead on the floor.

2. On the next inhalation, raise your upper body off the ground.  Be here gently breathing as you prepare yourself for the next stage.

3. Breathe in and on the next out breath, move your legs off the floor. With the breath, keep moving up your legs until they cannot go up any further. Remember to try to keep the knees as together as possible.

4. Open the chest and roll the shoulders back as you gaze upwards.

Remain in the pose as long as possible, breathing gently.

Finish with the child posture. Follow this by yoga mudra, the tortoise or the half-candle (whichever you feel like doing of these last three).  After The Half-candle, do The Fish.

(The advice for doing this asana was taken from The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann)

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