Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana: One-Legged Bow Pose

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?

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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:

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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Ardha Matsyendrasana: Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Ardha Matsyendrasana: Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS   |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Ardha matsyendrasana (ARE-dah MOT-see-en-DRAHS-ah-nah) is an approachable twist that opens the shoulders and chest. A good antidote for too much sitting and symptoms that come with overusing technology, half lord of the fishes pose has the ability to increase energy in the body while also stoking the digestive fire in your belly.

Philosophy + Origin

Matsyendra is often recognized as one of the original founders of hatha yoga in yogic mythology. He was said to be a baby who was thrown into the ocean after his parents rejected him. The story of Matsyendra reminds us that it’s often the parts of our personal stories we don’t like or don’t want to accept that can be the most beneficial, especially on the path to becoming a yogi or yogini. Rather than conceptualizing the twist to be a purge of what is unwanted or unnecessary, think of the detoxification as a purification, an opportunity to take what was once viewed or understood as “bad” and transform it into something that is helpful on your personal journey.

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