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.
Agnistambhasana: Firelog Pose
Agnistambhasana (AG-nee-stahm-BAHS-ah-nah) is sometimes referred to as double pigeon pose because the legs take a similar shape as they do in pigeon pose. Firelog pose creates a deep stretch in the outer hips and space in the low back.
Philosophy + Origin
Fire (agni) is a transformative element. Agnistambhasana can be very uncomfortable as many people carry deep tension in their hips. See if you can feel the fire building in your hips and with your breath as you hold this pose.
- Sit on a folded blanket or block to create more space for your hips.
- Place your top leg in front of your bottom leg (rather than on top of it) to ease pressure on the knees.
- Use a block under your top ankle to release pressure on your bottom leg.
- Use a block under your top knee to help the hip relax and to relieve discomfort in the knee.