[Pose of the Week] How to Master Bow Pose (Beginner)

Bow Pose is a beginner/intermediate yoga pose with some awesome benefits! Here’s how to make sure you’re doing it right…

For some reason, Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) is just one of those yoga poses that is really hard for me… The tops of my thighs always hurt so much it’s like my muscles are being pulled apart, so I often have to do a modified beginner version of this pose to start with, and then after several repetitions I can finally get into the full pose. After reading the tips below, I believe one of the issues is that I may have been holding my knees too far apart…

I’m looking forward to trying it again soon, as this pose has a lot of wonderful benefits – especially for those who spend a lot of time at the computer like I do!

Bow Pose is known for releasing tension in the back, neck, and shoulders, strengthening the legs, improving posture, and increasing your energy levels, among others.

Here are some tips from Yoga.com for getting this basic but sometimes challenging yoga pose just right:

How to Do Bow Pose

  1. Lie on your stomach, legs hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees, bring the legs as close to your buttocks as you can.
  3. Now reach back with your hands and grab your ankles.
  4. Lift your legs up. Your head and chest will also lift. Pay attention that during this pose your ankles and knees should be hip-width apart.
  5. Draw your shoulder blades toward each other and your shoulders away from ears.
  6. Gaze forward. Your pubic bone should be rooted toward the floor to protect your lower back.
  7. Stay for 10-20 seconds in this pose. Don’t forget to breathe.
  8. On the exhale slowly lower your legs, chest, and head to the floor.

Mistakes to avoid: 

  • Don’t grab your toes of the tops of your feet in this pose to avoid injuries. Instead, grab your ankles. If you can’t reach them use a strap (see beginner tips).
  • Don’t throw back your head too much to avoid straining your neck. Gaze forward instead.
  • Don’t keep your ankles and knees wider than hips.
  • Don’t hold your breath.

Beginner Tips: put a folded blanket under your thighs if you have difficulty lifting them off the floor. Put a strap over the front of your ankles and hold the loose ends of the strap with your hands. Keep your arms fully extended. You may also start with Easy Bow Pose (click here to watch a video).

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