A lot of people dislike Bow but I’ve always loved it. Great for using up stress hormones, it’s also grounding and tones the back, buttocks and legs.
While uplifting and energising when in Bow, it helps us build greater autonomic control in the longer term (controlling our breath in such poses means that, with practice, we become better at handling bigger physical and emotional stresses without the old impact).
Bow is also helpful for hormone imbalances so can ease symptoms associated with menopause, menstruation and post natal depression. Like all backbends, Bow can also help us lift our mood.
To enter Bow, start by lying on your belly. Bend your knees, keeping them in line with the hips and shoulders and take both hands to both ankles. If you’re unable to reach on both sides, do Half Bow (first stretching one side then the other) rather than being off balance.
Grounding the pelvis, rock back with both hands and hold the outer feet or ankles. Keep drawing the shoulders away from the ears and lengthen the neck. Push the feet into the hands for more lift.
Notice the breath and aim for as much control as possible, breathing into the lower lungs and aiming for that longer exhalation.
If it feels OK for your neck, look forwards or up.
To come out of Bow, gently release the ankles or feet and come back onto the belly, resting face down for a few complete breaths to allow the system to come back down again. Lifting and lowing the system with rest poses after dynamic ones helps us retrain the autonomic nervous system.
What do you think of Bow pose?
What are your favourite mood boosting poses?
Feel free to comment below.
IF YOU’RE NEW TO YOGA AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THESE POSES, GO TO A YOGA THERAPIST OR INSTRUCTOR. IF YOU’RE NEW TO EXERCISE, CONSULT YOUR GP BEFOREHAND. ALWAYS HONOUR YOUR BODY’S OWN WISDOM.