This posture is terrifically complex. It bends the spine backward and twists it, opening the chest and shoulders. The kicking leg moves toward the splits, all while balancing on one leg. Do your best to keep the kicking hip down. Even hips create a truer backbend in the spine and balanced engagement of the standing hip and leg. Keep the head and chest up while the belly button drops and faces the ground.
Lungs are extended in this posture, breath should be about 70%. Use the breath to stretch the chest up and forward. Keep the breath relaxed, even as the back muscles engage and the heart rate rises.
This posture builds balance, focus and determination. The backbend massages the adrenal glands, reducing stress. It stretches the chest, legs, hips and shoulders while building strength in the feet, legs, hips, back and shoulders. This posture truly challenges and benefits the whole body.
Take great care not to hyperextend the standing knee in Standing Bow. Make sure that the standing knee is stacked directly over the ankle, not pushed behind it. Hyperextending the knee damages the ligaments of the knee and will eventually create issues in the hips, ankles and feet.
Excerpt from the Ghosh Yoga Practice Manual - Intermediate.
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Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are scholars as well as practitioners of yogic postures, breath control and meditation. They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga.
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