Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana: One-Legged Bow Pose

Eka-pada-urdhva-dhanurasana-TaylorHarkness

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?

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.

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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Ustrasana: Camel Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     MANTRA    |     MUDRA    |     PREP POSES    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Ustrasana (oosh-TRAHS-anna), offers a long list of benefits for both the physical and subtle bodies. Thanks to its many different variations and modifications, there are plenty of ways for individuals of all levels to appreciate the chest-opening and chakra-opening effects of camel pose.

Philosophy + Origin

Camel pose is named because the shape resembles the hump on a camel’s back, however there are other ways to consider the name when approaching the posture. Camels are known for their slow, steady, almost methodical way of moving. Rather than trying to race into the posture, moving slowly and methodically will help you find its benefits safely. Camels use their humps as food reserves, like well-packed bags ready to be used when needed. This type of physical preparation, a part of the camel’s natural adaptation for survival, is essential for this pose as well. Take your time to gather and practice the skills and knowledge necessary to take a back-bending journey to ensure that you come in and out of the posture with ease and poise.

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