Bow Pose Yoga Sequencing: Preparatory Poses
Most of the Backbends brings the maximum stretch to the lower back , but Dhanurasana does the magic to the entire back and one can feel the flow of blood , if the focus is on the breathing. As this stretch is a difficult one a lot of preparatory poses can help before the attempt of Dhanurasana. If one follows a sequence in the practice of yoga, the greater the achievement of that particular pose. In this case considering the level to be an Intermediate level, a few of the Preparatory poses are explained below:
- Stretches: As you lie down face down in Makarasana (Crocodile Pose), a few stretches of the legs, ankles, neck , lower back and upper shoulders should be done. For instance, by folding the knees and bringing the feet together you can rock the lower back left and right taking both the legs to one side and placing the feet on the floor. You could also kick alternate legs down and up, beginning to loosen up the thighs and hips. You could also raise your upper body with feet stretched behind you and bring your neck on inner palms of the hands by supporting and relax the spine with a few breaths here. This helps to open up the neck and shoulders.
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): This Pose where the body looks like that of raised hood of a Cobra, gives the required stretch for the lower back. Lying down with face down, place your palms by bending your elbows close to your upper abdomen near the chest. Taking a deep breathe raise the upper body and bring it upwards and backwards by balancing the body on your wrists feeling the stretch on the lower back. The body is raised from the thighs and the spine is beautifully curved while the neck is taken backwards.
- Navasana (Boat Pose): In this pose the both extremes of the body is stretched in the air and balancing on the lower abdomen and pelvic giving the stretch to both upper and lower back. Here raise the body from lying face down with arms stretched close to your ears and legs raised from the thighs up in the air at least about 30 degrees from the floor. So here both ends of the body are raised from the floor to about 30 degrees.
As the above yoga poses too require working on the back , a good stretching exercises is essential. One can work on doing some stretches under the category of standing and back bends yoga poses. A good teacher will be able to guide the student depending on the level of the student and his/ her experience in yoga practice.