Parsva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)

Iyengar's difficulty rating: 4* out of 60*

Iyengar's Technique:

  1. Perform Dhanurasana (Bow Pose).
  2. On an exhale, roll onto your R side and stretch your chest forward and legs back.
  3. On an inhale, roll back into Dhanurasana. Then practice this pose on the other side.
  4. Perform each side for an equal length of time with normal breathing.
  5. Grip your ankles more firmly to ensure that they don't slip.

Comparing Forms:

  • Iyengar is holding his ankles. I am holding the tops of my feet. This may be part of the reason he is able to touch his heels together; my heels are separated.
  • Iyengar's instructions do not suggest what to do with the head or neck. However, in his images, he is looking up so I have done the same. Darren Rhodes once suggested a variation in which I look down and attempt to gaze along the length of my bottom arm. This isn't demonstrated here, but I have found it different and powerful.