Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana: One-Legged Bow Pose

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Eka pada urdhva dhanurasana (EH-kah PAH-dah OORD-vah don-your-AHS-anna) is the one-legged variation of upward-facing bow pose.

Philosophy + Origin

The power of the bow pose is present in this one-legged variation. In a world that glorifies multi-tasking, use eka pada urdhva dhanurasana as a reminder to go one step, or one foot, at a time. Think about the coordination required in your body and mind to make this pose happen. Can you use the same coordination to steadily go from one task to the next with grace and poise?

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ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Start with taking one knee toward the chest before extending the leg up.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin lying on your back with knees bent, set up for bridge pose.
  2. Place your hands on either side of your head, fingers facing your shoulders and elbows pointed upward.
  3. Lift your hips (bridge pose), then press to the crown of your head. If you feel stable here, press into your hands to lift into upward-facing bow pose.
  4. Shift your weight into your left foot and draw your right knee up, then extend your toes up to the ceiling.
  5. Hold for 2-3 breaths, then release back to upward-facing bow. Repeat on the other side.
  6. Tuck your chin and slowly release all the way down to the mat.

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PREPARATORY POSES:

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

  • Dancer pose | Natarajasana
  • Half splits | Ardha hanumanasana

COUNTER POSES:

SANSKRIT:

  • Eka = one
  • Pada = foot
  • Urdhva = upward
  • Dhanu = bow
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Strengthens legs and back.
  • Stretches pelvis and quadriceps.
  • Improves balance and coordination.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Boosts energy.
  • Promotes confidence.
  • Improves mental focus.
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Phalakasana: Plank Pose

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ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Phalakasana (fall-ack-AHS-anna), is an essential posture for a strong yoga practice. Holding plank pose will improve your endurance and muscle tone, help develop the strength needed for more complex poses, and generate heat and stimulating the navel chakra.

Philosophy + Origin

Hidden in the pose’s name is the Sanskrit word “phala,” which means to bear fruit or ripen. In yoga, the idea of tapas, often translated as “heat,” “passion,” or “discipline,” fuels the physical asana practice, encouraging students to seek out the challenge again and again in order to become stronger, to build an internal flame in the body that fuels every aspect of life. When you think of plank pose as an opportunity to “ripen” or “bear fruit,” you become aware of the transformative effect of this seemingly simple (although challenging) pose. Each time you enter the pose, use the breath to ripen the fruit of your labors. The ability to hold this pose with steadiness and grace is known to create major shifts in your practice and your life.

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