The second of my ‘Yoga’ series, The Ardha Dhanurasana is another easy pose that you can practice anywhere you like. This is a backbend that can be done lying on your belly, in standing pose or even the way I am doing it in the image below. Doing the pose lying on your stomach is the easiest and toughest while standing since that involves the additional ‘balance’ factor. The half bow pose done on the fours is slightly easier since there is lesser need for balance.
This asana stretches your spine and opens up your chest which gives space for your heart to grow and expand that does not come from regular breathing patterns. This in-turn boosts your energy levels and even improves your mood.
How to do it:
~ Get on all fours with your arms perpendicular to the floor and palms under your shoulders in a straight line.
~ Try balancing on your twos by extending your left arm and right leg straight out.
~ Then reach out behind you and hold your right foot with your left hand.
~ Stabilize yourself in this position. Then try to raise and bow your leg as much as you comfortably can while exhaling.
~ Try and maintain this stretch for 5-8 breaths or longer if you wish.
~ Bring down your arm and leg while exhaling on to all your fours.
~ Repeat the same for the opposite limbs.
Note of Caution: If you find it difficult to curve your spine to form the bow, start with just simply holding your foot with the hand like in the image. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. If you feel any “crunching” or discomfort in the back, especially the low back, be sure to try easier modifications.
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