Bow: August Yoga Pose of the Month


 Stretches the front of the body, ankles, thighs, abdomen, chest, throat and hip flexors.  Strengthens back muscles and improves posture.

Bow Pose (Sanskrit:  Dhanurasana)


  • Lie on belly with hands alongside torso and head down and neck lengthened. Bend the knees and bring heels to buttocks. Engage core and lengthen tailbone. Reach back with hands and hold ankles on outside of feet. Make sure knees aren’t wider than the width of hips.
  • Inhale and begin to kick feet into hands and breathe.  Lift your thighs away from floor.  This will assist in pulling upper torso and head off floor. Keep back muscles soft without compressing lower back. Press shoulder blades firmly against back and open chest. Keep shoulders down.
  • Stay in pose ~30 seconds or 3 to 5 breaths. You may find that as you inhale, you lift a bit and as you exhale, you move closer to floor. Release as you exhale and stack hands on tops of each other resting forehead on top of hands. Bend knees and windshield wiper legs back and forth with bent knees to neutralize spine. *Make sure you warm up spine first before performing Bow Pose.
  • Move into Child’s pose by having knees wide, top of feet on floor with big toes touching.  Extend arms in front and press hips back to heels.  This is an excellent counter pose to stretch and lengthen back.  Modify as needed, staying in pose for 5 breaths.

Note:  To modify, you may use a strap around the ankles if you can't comfortably reach ankles with your hands.  You may also perform one side at a time.  If you want to advance the pose, you can reach for the inside of ankles with hands.

Contraindications:  If you have a lower back or neck injury, please do not perform.  As with all yoga and exercise, seek guidance from a medical provider to ensure you are ready to partake.

Namaste - The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.


About Author

Celeste Cooper

Wellness & Fitness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty-five years. She began as a research chemist with a concentration in genetics and nutritional biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she saw the need to follow a path of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate in her position overseeing Wellness and Fitness. She believes curiosity and collaboration bring insight and new ideas which bring out the best in everyone from team members to those who are making healthy lifestyle changes. Believing that the body knows how to heal if given the proper tools, Celeste earned certifications in Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Classical Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic & Naturopathic Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 2020. Celeste is a published author and practices what she preaches and teaches. She is a nationally recognized Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and has advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT).

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