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Eka Pada Dhanurasana: One-Legged Upward-facing Bow Pose


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.

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PREPARATORY POSES:

FOLLOW-UP 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.
  • Opens shoulder and chest.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Boosts energy.
  • Promotes confidence.
  • Improves mental focus.

MANTRA:

Dhyan Mantra

The word “dhyan” means focus. Increase your ability to focus on one task at a time by using this simple mantra: OM DHYANAYE OM. You can repeat it aloud or internally to resist distraction and reaction, allowing you to stay focused on your path to success.

MUDRA: Dhyana Mudra

Use this mudra to help bring your mind into a deep state of concentration and peace. To practice, sit comfortably with your hands resting in your lap with palms face up. Place your right hand on your left and join the thumbs together.

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