Yoga Pose Breakdown: Dhanurasana - Bow Pose

Sanskrit Name: Dhanurasana (don-your-AHS-anna) 
Dhanu = Bow
Asana = Pose

Get Started:
:: Begin by lying on your belly with your hands by your sides, palms up
:: Bend your knees
:: Bring your feet as close to your buttocks as possible
:: Reach back and grab hold of the outside of your feet or ankles
:: Bring your knees hip-width distance or closer together
:: Squeeze your midline to spine
:: Begin to kick into your hands, lifting your knees and thighs off of the floor
:: Lift your head and shoulders off the mat
:: Keep your tailbone down and keep your back muscles soft
:: Roll your shoulder blades down your back
:: Open your heart toward the sky 
:: Gaze in front of you
:: Remember to breathe

Benefits: Bow Pose stretches the entire front of the body, ankles, thighs, groins, abdomen, chest, throat and psoas. It strengthens the back muscles, improves posture and stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck.

Contradictions: Practice this pose with caution if you have high or low blood pressure, migraines or insomnia. You may not want to practice it if you have serious lower-back or neck injuries. 

Know your asana: This pose is closely related to both Dancer's Pose and Wheel Pose. You are just changing your relationship to gravity.