Start by lying with the belly on the floor, bend the knees towards the back and hold the ankles with your hands.
Inhale and lift the torso and legs upward at the same time. Breathe normally and hold this posture for about 30 seconds. To come out release the ankles and rest in the child pose.
This pose can cause some strain on the knees and spine, so it should be practiced carefully. Due to the pressure applied on the spine this pose can lead to ruptured disks, so any poses that have a strong backward extension of the spine should be carried out using the back muscles and should not be forced. Also extend the spine from the hip bones to the head before moving into the pose. Avoid the bow posture if you have lower back injuries. A good alternative to the bow pose is the locust pose.
The bow pose helps to strengthen the back muscles, improve posture and stretches the abdomen, chest, shoulders, ankles, thighs and hips.
Marcia has been practising yoga for over 20 years and has specialised in the Hatha and Ashtanga schools of yoga, although has also enjoyed learning other branches such as Iyengar. As well as yoga she practices meditation, and plays a wide range of sports, including badminton, cricket, cycling, and walking.