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Grace, Strength & Balance

Bow Pose


Poses that embody grace, strength, and balance.

Hip and heart opening practices offer a profound stretch, targeting both the front and back of the body and developing the required strength-balance-and-flexibility.

Natarajasana (Dancer Pose or Lord of the Dance Pose) is a deep backbend that requires patience, focus, and persistence. The pose is named after the Hindu god Shiva Nataraja, King of the Dance, who finds bliss in the midst of destruction. Like its namesake, Lord of the Dance Pose embodies finding steadying calm within.

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) is a deep back bend that provides a sense of achievement and builds confidence by establishing a deeper mind-body connection… It promotes a sense of groundedness and stability. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words Dhanu meaning bow and Asana meaning pose/posture. Hence the name Bow Pose. The name translates to “Bow Pose” because, in the final position, the body resembles the shape of an archer’s bow, a powerful bow.

If you’re among the millions of people glued to a desk for hours upon hours every day, then you need these poses (Natarajasana & Dhanurasana) in your life. They stretch your hip flexors and hamstrings (aka the muscles that are shortened and tightened, respectively, from all that sitting) while strengthening your back. They help improve your posture by opening your chest and shoulders, counteracting the time you spend hunched over your computer.

You may find yourself holding your breath. Resist this urge! Expanding through the front, back, and sides of your body stretches the diaphragm so that you can take deeper breaths. Breathing more deeply can lower your heart rate, regulate blood pressure, and help you relax. Strengthening your diaphragm through your yoga practice will help you to get out of your head, to stay grounded in your body, and to quiet your mind—on and off the mat.

On the mental level, such backbends are often associated with an energizing and uplifting feeling, improving mood, and increasing vitality as soon as the pose is released.

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