Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
Karma is known for its nomadic tribe take on yoga, but without a studio, we are limited when it comes to teaching our students about the use of props to help get deeper into a posture or make a challenging pose more obtainable. The Karma Dama blog will show you ways to guide your body into postures you can practice at home.
Props are expensive and before I invested the money in them myself, I got creative and found household items that I could utilize as props, plus it fuels this fun idea of a home practice. Here are some of the things I use:
Block- thick hardcover book, I usually put a rubber band around the book so it doesn’t come open mid-use.
Strap- If you aren’t a tie wearer, a belt also works. I personally prefer a tie because if I need a long strap, I can tie multiple of them together.
Blanket- you don’t need a fancy yoga blanket to utilize a blanket in your practice, your favorite one around your home would do just fine.
Bolster- Bolsters come in many different sizes, luckily so do household pillows, find a pillow (or 5) that you like and can use for a bolster.
Chair- many people may not be familiar with yoga chairs but you can utilize them for inversions and arm balances. Find a sturdy chair in your home and ONLY PRACTICE WITH IT ON CARPET or all chair legs on the mat. No yogis sliding around on tile or wood floors.
Today, we have a simple prop set up for you but it is nothing less than a challenging pose. We will discuss bow pose (Dhanurasana). This is a great heart opener, back strengthener and front hip/ quad stretch. Prior to navigating ourselves into this posture, some good warm up poses to try would include, bridge, cobra, reclined hero, upward facing dog, and locust pose. Ensure your body is nice and warmed up before getting into this posture.
To start, take a rolled up blanket and place it on the floor. Come into spinx pose, ensuring we use our elbows aligned with our shoulders are palms flat on the mat. Try to get the blanket under you in a comfortable spot but also where it is giving you light without compressing your low back.
Start by reaching one hand straight in front of you, thumb faced up, flipping the hand and reaching back for one side. Kick the foot into the hand to get a little lift on this side. After a few breathes here, switch sides.
When you feel balanced and secure, do one side and allow the other to follow. The blanket will assist you, not allowing you to dump into your low back and support you enough where you can find some extra lift. This should hopefully get you just a little bit further into your bow pose.
After you try it with the blanket, take a childs pose to counter this intense stretch. If you are feeling bold, try this without the blanket and observe the difference.
Go forth and play yogis!
-Namaste, Michi P.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER
This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.