I thought I'd start a series of blog posts with some asana tips. For the first one, I chose bow pose.
How to do it: Start by laying on your stomach and lengthening the body. Inhale and bend your legs, reaching around with your hands to grab your ankles or lower legs with your thumbs facing down. Exhale, broaden your chest and send your shoulder blades toward each other and down your back. Inhale and with the power of your legs, lift your chest. Arms straight, legs press into the hands. Tilt your pelvis to release any pressure on the lower back. Inhale to lift the upper body, exhale to lift the lower body- this will create a slight rocking motion. Be mindful of your backbend- envisioning a gradual bend. Gently let go and send yourself into child's pose.
Benefits: Done properly and consistently, bow pose will strengthen the back, bum and backs of the legs. It helps digestion, respiratory problems, anxiety and fatigue. It helps to open the lungs, spine and hip flexors.
Tips: Try to keep the knees no more than hip distance apart to avoid compromising the integrity of the pose.