Bikram Posture #19 – Bow

It looks difficult and even painful, but the Bow Pose is actually one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating of all the Bikram Yoga postures. Also known as Dhanurasana, the Bow Pose puts focus on the core both front and back for a deeply stretching, toning, and strengthening posture.

No matter what kind of athletic or hobby sport you may be involved in, good breathing is essential. The Bow Pose is a great tool to help deepen and strengthen breathing as it opens up the rib cage and puts special attention on the intercostals muscles that connect the ribs – an all too often overlooked muscle group. With each moment you hold this pose, the stretch goes deeper into the rib cage to help clear and cleanse the lungs while expanding the chest overall.

For those with back pain or flexibility issues, the reverse flexion of the spine helps bring deep stretching, blood flow, and nerve relief where it’s needed most. Since many of us spend a great deal of time sitting at a computer desk these days, our spines are often the first thing to suffer. This pose helps bring much needed relief and toning to the whole back so that it can be stronger, more stable, and more flexible.

When in the Bow Pose, the whole body is resting on the ground with the lower abdomen as the point of contact. The hands grasp the heels and pull the legs up to create a bow-like form. While the abdomen rests on the ground, small adjustments are made in the tissues and muscles to help retain balance. These adjustments lead to better digestion, more toned abdominal muscles, and a gentle massage for many visceral organs like the liver and spleen.

The Dhanurasana is a beautiful pose that many people can work into after just a few sessions. It’s a deeply relieving asana that takes the weight off the back and shoulders for a stretch you’ll never forget!