Bow: August Yoga Pose of the Month

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

Bow Pose (Sanskrit:  Dhanurasana)

Bow

  • 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.

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About Author

Celeste Cooper-Peel, MA, MCHES, E-RYT, CWHC, CYT

Wellness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty years. As a chemist, she conducted research which brought her into the mindset of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education from East Carolina University, 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 about all things wellness. She enjoys collaborating with team members, teaching, presenting and nurturing healthy lifestyle changes. She believes that every day is a learning opportunity and creates opportunities that reflect active learning, being curious and forward thinking. Celeste is a published author, the wife of a fun-loving husband, mother of a college freshman, "professional" front porch meditator and loves to play in the dirt . She is a nationally Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Certified Wellness and Health Coach (CWHC), Certified Yin-Yang Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT). She has also received advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition and additional trainings with The Institute for Functional Medicine. Follow @ccooperpeel on Twitter and Instagram.

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