Now Bow pose, most people will try, but this advanced variation where you hold the toes makes your back arch so much, it might feel like it’s breaking in half. This pose is best done on an empty stomach, and really works on increasing flexibility in your spine.
Expands chest and shoulders
Stretch hip flexors and core musculature
Stretch front of shins
Strengthen gluteus muscles of the hip and hamstrings at the back of the thigh
Strengthen low back musculature
Relieves some forms of low back pain
Therapeutic for asthma, opening accessory muscles of breathing
To learn this pose:
Lie on your stomach with your arms by your side, palms facing upwards.
Roll your shoulders onto your back so that the heads of your arm bones lift off the floor and the shoulder blades move towards each other. Bend both knees so that the feet move towards the buttocks.
With as little twisting as possible grasp your ankles with your hands. You can flex your feet to make a handle. Avoid holding the foot itself.
Exhale and contract through the abdominal region in order to lengthen the lower back and bring support to the spine. Inhale and lengthen out through the crown of your head. At the same time, keeping the knees hip width apart, press the feet back into the hands, creating a natural lift.
With each breath press the heels back and up, gradually increasing the back bend, keeping the spine long. Maintain the supportive contraction of the abdominal muscles to counter any pressure going into the lower spine.
Hold for 5 breaths or more.
Exhale and slowly release the feet. Lie quietly for a few moments. Repeat if desired.
10. Peacock Pose| Mayurasana
It look like his hands are about to break off from his wrists, right? Although gorgeous, Peacock pose isn’t for everyone.
Increases strength and circulation in the hands and wrists.
Massages the internal organs of the abdomen.
Improves balance and coordination.
Strengthens the front and back lines of the body.
To learn this pose:
Kneel on the floor, knees wide, and sit on your heels. Lean forward and press your palms on the floor with your fingers turned back toward your torso (thumbs pointing out to the sides). Bend your elbows slightly and touch the pinky sides of your hands and the outer forearms (up to the elbows) together. Then bend your elbows to a right angle and slide your knees to the outside of your arms and forward of your hands. Lean your front torso onto the backs of your upper arms and burrow your elbows deep into your belly at or below the navel.
If your elbows slide apart, you can bind them together with a strap. Position the strap just above your elbows. If you can’t quite manage the full pose (as described in the next step), support your feet on a block (sitting on one of its sides), placed near the back end of your sticky mat.
Firm your belly against the pressure of the elbows. Lower your forehead to the floor. Then, straighten your knees and stretch your legs out behind your torso, tops of your feet on the floor. Firm your buttocks and round your shoulders slightly downward. Lift your head off the floor and look forward. Lean your weight slightly forward—if your legs and buttocks are firm and active, this slight shift of weight will lever your feet off the floor. Position your torso and legs approximately parallel to the floor.
Hold at first for about 10 seconds, gradually increasing your time to 30 seconds as you gain more experience with the pose. Then lower your head and feet to the floor, bend your knees, and lift your torso off your arms.