How to Do the Bow Pose

This pose, which turns you into a human archery bow, expands your chest and ribcage, and gives your entire back and spine a full backward bend. No arrows required.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Lie on stomach Lie on your stomach with your arms at your sides.
  • Step 2: Bend knees & grab ankles Bend your knees up toward your butt and grab your ankles with your hands behind you.
  • TIP: If you cannot grab hold of your ankles, you can still lift your chest and reach your arms back while bending your knees. This variation can actually be more challenging to maintain.
  • Step 3: Lift up thighs Lift your feet away from your butt and your thighs off the mat. Your head and chest will lift off the ground. Ease off the pose if you feel any tightness in your lower back.
  • TIP: If this posture is uncomfortable, place a folded blanket or towel under your hips.
  • Step 4: Hold pose Hold the pose for 5 to 10 relaxed breaths, but don't try to breathe deeply—your chest is too compressed to do so.
  • Step 5: Release pose To release the pose, simply lower back down to the mat and release your ankles.
  • FACT: The evolution of prehistoric archery ranks in cultural importance with that of the development of the wheel and making fire.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket
  • A towel

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