Dhanurasana

Bow Pose

Lie on your stomach, if hip bones protrude, on a folded blanket, bend knees, bringing feet as close you can, reach back and grab the ankles. (If this is hard on your lower back, do one armed Bow, and support yourself by pressing down with other hand in front of chest.)   Keep  knees width of hips, inhale and lift by activating hamstrings to move feet up and away, thighs off floor.  Try to keep tailbone down and back muscle soft, shoulders down, chin parallel to floor.  Feel your heart opening as you breath in and out of it.  If you feel happy about being here, try rocking back and forth, activating and nurturing the abdominal organs enormously.

Health Notes: This is good for stretching and strengthening spine, chest, thighs, especially hip flexor/psoas, and pectoral muscles.  Its particularly helpful for those with hunched shoulders, rounded backs, and lung ailments, such as asthma.  Abdominal organs are activated helping with constipation and digestion, and because the heart opens, anxiety and stress are alleviated.  It also helps with menstrual discomfort.