Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana: One-Legged 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?
- Start with taking one knee toward the chest before extending the leg up.
- Begin lying on your back with knees bent, set up for bridge pose.
- Place your hands on either side of your head, fingers facing your shoulders and elbows pointed upward.
- 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.
- Shift your weight into your left foot and draw your right knee up, then extend your toes up to the ceiling.
- Hold for 2-3 breaths, then release back to upward-facing bow. Repeat on the other side.
- Tuck your chin and slowly release all the way down to the mat.
- Eka = one
- Pada = foot
- Urdhva = upward
- Dhanu = bow
- Asana = pose
- Strengthens legs and back.
- Stretches pelvis and quadriceps.
- Improves balance and coordination.
- Boosts energy.
- Promotes confidence.
- Improves mental focus.
Ustrasana: Camel Pose
A powerful way to boost your energy and your mood, ustrasana (oosh-TRAHS-anna) offers a long list of benefits for both the physical and subtle bodies. Thanks to its many variations and modifications, there are plenty of ways for practitioners of all levels to appreciate the physical and chakra-opening effects of camel pose.
Philosophy + Origin
Although the name of this pose is camel because the shape resembles the hump on a camel’s back, 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, being slow and methodical will help you find its benefits without risking discomfort or strain. In the same way, 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 enter and exit the posture with ease and poise.