Yoga asanas, according to their peculiarities, offer a chain of benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. Such is the case of half bow posture, a variant of full bow posture, which is one of the basic asanas of Hatha Yoga. In this posture, the torso, legs, and arms represent the arc of an archer, which is why it is considered one of the most challenging yogic asanas. Here, we’ll tell you how to do half bow pose in a right way, its variations and benefits.
How To Do Half Bow Pose In A Right Way
The following indications show how to correctly do half bow pose in a way that practitioners can test their ability, without the risk of hurting their ligaments.
1. The symbolic representation of half bow pose must be that of a half-stretched arch.
2. Start with the sphinx posture, lying on your belly and placing your elbows under or slightly in front of your shoulders, with your forearms parallel to the outer edges of your mat. Your legs will extend behind you as in the cobra’s posture.
3. Bend your right knee and extend your right hand back to grab the outer edge of the foot or right ankle. Focus on turning the right side of your ribcage forward and keeping your torso framed with the front of your mat.
The tendency is to turn to the right (to support the foot), which generates a twist in the lower part of the waist and back, together with an unpleasant sensation of crushing in the area. Press your left forearm against the floor, extend the ribs forward, and lift your heart to find length in the front of your body.
3. Press your right foot against your hand and push the metatarsal toward the ceiling.
4. Try to take off your right thigh off the floor by activating the buttocks and hamstrings.
5. Keep your left leg activated: press the floor with the instep and push back with the toes while maintaining internal rotation in the left thigh. Stay here for about five breaths and then change sides.
Variations Of Half Bow Pose
Half bow pose is one of the simplest versions of bow pose, ideal for beginners or people who have some difficulty in the movements or stretching of their joints. Other variations of bow pose are usually more challenging for those who tolerate it easily.
1. Side Bow Pose
To perform this version of half bow pose, carry out the instructions indicated above and then, with an exhalation, bring the right shoulder towards the floor, pull the left foot hard to the right, and turn to the right side.
2. Upward Bow Pose
In this variation, the arms and legs are reached as high as possible. It is a difficult position and is only recommended for those who take time to practice and do not have any physical injury or impairment.
If you find it very difficult to hold the ankles directly, wrap a strap around the ankles and take the free ends of the strap, keeping your arms fully extended.
Chakras Involved In Half Bow Pose
Half Bow Pose helps to open, activate, and balance the following chakras:
- Heart Chakra
- Solar Plexus Chakra
- Sacral Chakra
- Root Chakra
Benefits Of Half Bow Pose:
- It strengthens the arms, wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and spine.
- Expand the chest and lungs.
- It stimulates the thyroid and pituitary gland.
- It relieves depression and increases energy.
- It is indicated in the treatment of back pain, asthma, infertility, and osteoporosis.
- It makes the spine more flexible.
- It tones the nervous system.
- Develop a sense of balance and concentration.
Tips To Do Half Bow Pose
- Maintain internal immobility or fixation of the gaze on changes from one position to another. Also, make sure you don’t lose your breathing or balance.
- While performing the bow posture, try using only the leg muscles and let the back passively bend backward. With regular practice, it will be easier.
- Make sure your hands close around the ankle region, not the feet.
- Keep your feet together, so they stay in touch throughout the practice.
- Let the weight of the body rest on the ribs instead of the soft part of the abdomen. Adjust the balance of your body as the belly is in contact with the ground.
- Keep your arms straight throughout the practice.
- Pull the chest and thighs up equally, and do not bend your elbows.
Contraindications Of Half Bow Pose
The contraindications should take into account, because otherwise, instead of being beneficial, it could bring some health inconvenience.
- People with heart problems.
- Patients with high blood pressure.
- People suffering from hernia, peptic or duodenal ulcer, appendicitis, colitis, and other abdominal ailments.
- Bow posture should not practice right after the meal.
- It is recommended not to do half bow pose before going to bed, as this asana stimulates the adrenal glands and the sympathetic nerve center in the navel, which can cause sleep problems.
- People with backward swaying or severe back pain, such as sciatica, should consult before attempting this posture.
- People with chronic injuries to the legs, hips, neck or arms, pregnancy, or recent abdominal surgery.
Now that you know how to do half bow pose, its benefits, its physical and energetic effects, its variants, and its contraindications, you cannot stop trying to practice it. Indeed, it is a demanding and challenging asana, but the results are well worth your constant practice until you reach a correct posture.