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.
Ardha Uttanasana: Half Standing Forward Bend
An effective stretch for your hamstrings and calves ardha uttanasana (ARE-dah OOT-tan-AHS-anna), is often used during vinyasa sequences to connect the breath as you flow from one posture to the next.
Philosophy + Origin
One of the reasons ardha uttanasana is used so much in vinyasa yoga classes is that it positions the body for chaturanga dandasana. Because it engages the navel and core, it’s a powerful pose for warming up the body, which is why it’s included in warm-up sequences. Despite its sometimes transitory nature, the pose also engages the navel chakra (manipura), which can bring the practitioner increased confidence and willpower.