Side Bow Pose

Side Bow Pose (Parsva Dhanurasana) is a strong asymmetrical backbend that strengthens the spinal extensors and quadriceps as it stretches the psoas and pectoralis. In this variation, you’ll experience the pose from a new perspective, reminding you to stay focused on your true goal, regardless of life’s challenging circumstances.

Even though it appears that both sides of the body are aligned alike, the muscular actions required to create this shape while lying on one’s side are not symmetrical. The top leg must be used more strongly to pull the body open, toning the quadriceps. The more the body opens with this action, the more the psoas of the bottom leg is stretched.

Benefits of Side Bow Pose

This pose tones the whole body, strengthens the wrists, and opens the shoulders and hips. Bird that lives on raindrops pose also improves focus, balance and concentration.

How to Do Side Bow Pose (Parsva Dhanurasana)

  1. Lie on your belly, with the chin on the floor, arms along side your body and legs together.
  2. Inhale and bend both knees and reach the hands back to hold onto the feet or ankles.
  3. Exhale and lift up into Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) by pressing the inner thighs up and the ankles back.
  4. Rock and roll over to one side. Continue to kick into the feet to open the chest and stretch the quadriceps.
  5. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.
  6. Rock and roll over to the other side and repeat.
  7. To release: Return to Dhanurasana. Roll both hips back to the floor and lower the chest, head, legs and arms to the floor. Turn the head to one side and rest.

Side Bow Pose for Beginners

You may use a strap to wrap the front of your ankles, if it is difficult to hold the ankles directly. While doing so, hold the free ends of the strap, with the arms fully extended. You may also experience difficulty lifting your thighs from the floor. You can use a rolled up blanket to support your thighs to give you an upward boost.

  1. If the neck feels strained, let the head rest on the floor.
  2. If you cannot reach your feet, wrap a yoga tie around your ankles and hold on with both hands.

Side Bow Pose for Advanced

Side Bow is a fun variation to full Bow that gives the same backbend without requiring as much strength.

Breathing in Bow Pose

Initially, one has to exhale. Now inhale deeply while raising your body up. During maintaining the pose, continue slow inhaling and exhaling. While, coming to the starting position, one has to take exhale deeply.