Half Bow Pose, or Ardha Dhanurasana, is a truly versatile pose, affecting many areas of the body as well as the mind. It greatly improves overall flexibility, putting the emphasis on particular muscle regions, demanding balance and focus at the same time. Simultaneously, it is stunningly soothing and calming, allowing the practitioner to explore their unlimited imagination.
1.) Begin laying flat on your stomach on your mat.
2.) Move your palms so they are face down, slightly in front of you. Lift your shoulders off the mat and press your forearms into the mat in front of you.
3.) With your toes pointed, bend your left knee in so that your toes are pointing towards your head.
4.) Reach back with your left hand and hold on to your left ankle from the outside of the foot.
5.) Press your right foot into the floor and engage your leg. While holding your left ankle, kick your foot away from your body, while pulling your ankle towards your back with your left hand creating a pulling sensation throughout the body.
6.) Release the pose down to the mat and duplicate on the opposite side.
Half Bow Pose is a great back bend - it fantastically increases the spine’s flexibility, also caring for a healthy posture.
Half Bow Pose does not limit its benefits to the spine - it stretches practically the whole body including the biceps, the triceps, the core, the hamstrings, the quadriceps, the psoas and more. It makes one feel refreshed.
Half Bow Pose opens the chest and creates a lot of space in there.
Demanding physical balance, Half Bow Pose also cares for the mental one. Having to maintain the body in such a gracious and elegant alignment cares for the inner harmony as well as is very soothing and calming.
This is the perfect variation of Half Bow Pose if you would like to focus more on the chest opening and the back stretching itself. Starting from the standard Half Bow Pose, lie the lifted leg flat on the ground, extended, the sole of the foot pointing at the ceiling. Then, reach the freed arm behind and also grab the foot with it to deepen the stretch in the shoulders, the rest of the upper body and the spine.
Starting from the standard Half Bow Pose position, bend the lifted leg so the side so that you can thread the shin under the front of the thigh of the second leg. The foot should be flexed, toes pointing at the ceiling. Then, grab the foot with the hand of the analogical arm - to do that, thread it in front of the knee of the second leg. This variation opens the shoulders and the rest of the upper body even more, expanding the chest and encouraging yet additional inspiration, balance and intention.