There are just so many yoga and Pilates poses (asanas/exercises) that I love, I don’t think I can chose a favourite one, but I definitely have favourites depending on what mood I am in, what my body needs and what I am desiring to achieve.

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana in Sanskrit yoga), which is called Rocking in Pilates, is my go to pose when I have spent hours at a computer or driving (both of which I do actually have to do as part of my wonderful job),  if I have a bloated tummy or digestive issues, or am in need of some energising.

During my second teacher training with the renowned British Wheel of Yoga, I have been studying this pose in depth so that it is accessible for everyone to do at various levels. This pose can be modified to a standing variation so that it can even be practiced during pregnancy or for those that are unable to lie on the floor or on their stomach.   Even the most inflexible person can work at a level that will bring them great benefits and overtime and with practice will enable them to progress towards the full pose.   I am working on the advanced version of this pose – yes I have to practise too in order to improve!

In my Pilates class we have been working on the path towards Rocking (which is the Pilates version of this – whereby we use our breath to gently rock the body with the inhalation and exhalation).   In my yoga class we have also been working on our backbends to enable us to achieve Bow pose/ Dhanurasana. We are working towards it, so we have been working on the flexibility of our hip flexors, spine, back strength, glute strength, chest opening ……

Here are some of the benefits, including the benefits of the various levels that we work with in class:

Physical benefits:

“Bow pose massages and invigorates the internal organs, especially the digestive organs. Expands the chest region, a benefit to people suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems. Enhances the elasticity of the spine” [1].

Strengthens the back muscles. Fantastic for counteracting our daily lives in forward flexion. Thus, it helps posture too. Bow pose gives a full backward bend to the whole of the spine and all the muscles of the back, from the next to the lower back.  It deeply strengthens the glute muscles, which further assist in supporting the back.

“The entire alimentary canal is reconditioned by this asana. The liver, abdominal organs and muscles are massaged. The pancreas and adrenal glands are toned, balancing their secretions. The kidneys are massaged. The pancreas and adrenal glands are toned, balancing their secretions. The kidneys are massaged and excess weight is reduced around the abdominal area. This leads to improved functioning of the digestive, excretory and reproductive organs and helps to remove gastrointestinal disorders, dyspepsia, chronic constipation and sluggishness of the liver.

It is useful in the management of diabetes and menstrual disorders. It improves blood circulation generally. The spinal column is realigned and the ligaments, muscles and nerves are activated, removing stiffness. It helps to correct hunching of the upper back. It strengthens leg muscles, especially the thighs.

Dhanurasana is useful for freeing nervous energy in the cervical”. [2]

It energises the body!

Mental benefits:

“Regular practice develops internal balance and harmony. Strengthens concentration and mental determination”. [3]

Hopefully you tonight in class for some more Pilates practise! 7pm and 8pm classes – Christ Church Chislehurst, Lubbock Road. Booking essential.

For other classes I teach, please check out my timetable  In addition to my new 9.30am Tuesday Yoga class, I have a New Early Bird Morning Yoga class coming soon on a Tuesday!  Keep an eye out!


[1] Yoga Mind & Body, Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Centre, DK (2008 Edition)

[2] Swami Satyananda Saraswati; 2008; Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha; Yoga Publications

[3] Swami Satyananda Saraswati; 2008; Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha; Yoga Publications