I have always thought of these two as being complimentary to each other. Or rather, I thought of them as connected and wondered how I could get in to one so easily while the other eluded me like my own personal White Whale.
Yesterday, with this post in mind, I asked a friend at work who has a pretty steady practice why she thought I was having a hard time with one and not the other. She pointed out to me that with standing bow-pulling pose, the hips aren’t aligned, allowing for better leverage. Whereas with floor bow, the hips are parallel, making me use both legs equally in the same way at the same time.
With this new vision of the poses in mind, I went to Bikram Yoga East Harlem this morning at 9AM. Jenilynn was subbing today – I have taken class with her before and like her a lot. As a former dancer, she is that much more in tune with her body and does a great job of really explaining what we should be focusing on in each asana (posture).
For Standing Bow Pulling Pose, Jenilynn had us kick out first, as far as we could and then angle our bodies forward until our chests were parallel with the floor. She reminded us that this was a spin twisting pose – more like triangle pose. And that’s when I finally understood the difference – floor bow is done with a straight spine!
When it was time for Floor Bow, I was actually excited to see how I would do. I have heard many times that the position you dread is the one you need the most – for me, that has always been floor bow. But this time I wanted to see what would happen. She reminded us to keep our hips even, again had us start by kicking and then, once in place – lift our heads from the mat. She explained that if one foot was higher than the other (which always happens to me) that we can adjust by trying to kick each foot to opposite corners of the room while aligning our knees with our shoulders. And OMG it worked!
Today was maybe my best yoga class yet – I fell out of standing head to knee and my locust pose was horrible. But mentally, I was more focused and actually happy than I have ever been before. Namaste!
Separately, today was day two of my 30-day squat challenge, 30 counter balance box squats. I think I was doing them a little too much like a yoga chair pose. But with the instructions on the site I was able to adjust the posture.
Happy Saturday to me!