WEEK 5 :: TRIYOGASCHOOL :: YEAR 2
We are coming off a fun week of our TriHeadstand challenge and diving right back in to our weekly TriYogaSchool! This week, in honor of the Olympic Games, we pull the string on the Bow or Dhanurasana.
🔻 Dhanurasana is a ‘belly down’ backbend, so we must battle gravity to create the arch. We are given the benefit, however, of a connection between hands & feet. This creates a synergistic energy that will buoy your backbend if you play it right!
🔻 Be sure to warm your body prior to practicing Bow Pose. It is a significant backbend & not wisely treated like a party trick. The torque created on the shoulders can be quite intense with the strength of the kicking legs. I suggest 3-5 Sun Salutations, Warrior I, Parsvottanasana, and several lunges.
🔺 Begin lying on your belly. Bend your knees reach back for your ankles. Traditionally the grip is on the outer ankle, but you can modify to inner, if your shoulders prefer.
🔺Before you begin to kick into the pose, roll your shoulders open. Lift the fronts of your shoulders off the mat, and draw your shoulderblades toward each other. This sets you up to open the front of your chest, creating a full body arch.
🔺Now you are ready to power the pose! Kick your legs up & back. Keep a firm grip & feel the stretch in the fronts of your shoulders. As your legs move 🆙 the bend will deepen.
🔺Lift your chin off your chest, opening the front of your throat. The entire back of your body is working in unison to stretch the entire front of your body. Breathe into the strength created by a tight BOW.
🔺Release the pose gently, rest, and repeat. 3 Bows is a good number to work with in 1 setting.
My PROP ideas help to address the challenges of shoulder mobility & gravity. I offer VARIANTS on Slide 2 & my favorite bow PREP on Slide 3.
✔️ PROP setups for better access to the pose :
a/ A STRAP can be used to reduce the distance between hands & feet. Loop the strap around both feet or just 1 at a time.
b/ To assist with the upper body lift, place a BLOCK under your belly button (pubic bone down on mat!). For even more support use a WHEEL to support your lower ribs.
✔️ VARIANTS :
➰/ WRIST CROSS - reach for your ankles after crossing your wrists. Much more demanding for the shoulders, plus shortens the reach, thus deepening the back arch.
➰/ SIDE BOW - take your regular bow pose & rock it to the side! For added challenge, keep both knees & feet together.
➰/ OVERHEAD GRIP - Flip your grip! 1 hand or both - up to you!
✔️ PREP :
1 + 2/ Wheel work to release shoulders & upper back
3/ Lunge + thigh stretch
4/ Wheel prop to Upward Facing Dog
5/ Prasarita Paddo C to release shoulders
6/ Ustrasana - mimics bow without fighting gravity
Let me know how it goes! 🔸Be creative, be agile, have fun!