One of my favorite backbends in yoga is Bow pose. If you have a hard time holding your ankles with your hands, then you won't even be able to feel the amazing stretch in your chest and shoulders. So that's why doing this pose with a friend is so great. This is actually a move your therapist might do with you if you had a Thai massage.
Want to know how to do this pose with a partner? Then
- Partner #1 (red pants) lies on her belly and gets into Bow pose.
- Then Partner #2 (black pants) stands inside partner #1's arms, on either side of her waist. Then she sits down on Partner #1's feet, so Partner #1's knees are on the ground.
- Partner #2 then holds onto Partner #1's shoulders. If it feels OK for Partner #1, Partner #2 can pull Partner #1's shoulders back, lifting her chest even higher, so that Partner #1's feet are directly over her own knees.
- They can stay like this for five or more breaths, and then Partner #2 releases Partner #1's shoulders and Partner #1 releases her own ankles and lies flat on her belly. To help release Partner #1's lower back, Partner #2 can place both hands on Partner #1's sacrum (the top of her bum), and put pressure down towards the ground. This feels amazing.
- Then they can switch roles.