Dhanurasana (bow pose)
In this pose, the arms and legs are used to pull the body into the shape of an archer's bow. The practice of this pose keeps the spine elastic and strong and tones the abdominal organs.
1. Lie face down on the floor, with hands beside hips and feet 1 foot apart.
2. Press the pubic bone down and feel how the sacrum (posterior bone) moves into the body. Stretch your legs back.
3. Without lifting the pubic bone off the floor, bend your knees and catch the sides of your feet with your hands.
4. Now roll your shoulders back and lift your sternum to open the chest. With a slow inhalation, lift your chest and thighs off the floor at the same speed. You should now be balancing on your abdomen.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Gary Higashida, a student of Manoa Yoga Center, demonstrates the dhanurasana pose.
5. Hold the pose for a few seconds with even, soft exhalations. Use your arms like a taut bow string to lift and spread the chest.
6. Return to the floor with an exhalation. Rest for a few seconds and repeat several times.
With practice you will gain stamina and flexibility so that you will be able to grip your ankles instead of the tops of your feet.
In the beginning, practitioners tend to hold their breath and sweat and struggle with this pose. Work to keep the pressure out of your head by maintaining an even, soft, conscious flow of breath. Keep your eyes soft and relax your jaw and face so your face remains serene. Do not simply bend where you find the most flexibility; instead work to keep the arch symmetrical so that the mind becomes absorbed in the moment.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.