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Yoga Pose of the month for May – Dhanurasana

Yoga pose of the month – May by Emma Després

After a wonderful two weeks in Thailand, I have returned to find that Spring has indeed finally sprung.  Hoorah for the sunshine and the green and lush gardens and hedgerows that have welcomed us home.  Hoorah too for the wonderful fresh air, and the sounds of all the birds singing their morning chorus as they welcome in a lovely new day – what a joy to be alive!

I do love Spring with all its new life and potential for new beginnings, all its colours and buzzing energy.  What a wonderful time of year.  Indeed in the Pagan calendar May brings with it Beltane, which is traditionally celebrated on April 30 (May Eve) and is a fire and fertility festival.

Fertility played an important role in the Beltane celebrations – this is Spring after all – the principle symbol being the Maypole of course, also known as the axis mundi, around which the universe revolved.  The pole personified the masculine energy, and the disk at the top depicted the receptive female.  There were seven coloured rainbows tied to it which represented the seven colours of the rainbow.

This is a time when we actively pursue our heart-felt goals on the material level – bringing them to life.  Now is the time to take action and physically put effort into the goal you began to think about at the beginning of the year.  It is a time to invoke the power of the Goddess to aid you in your work, dancing in the light of the full moon, giving thanks for all you have in your life, embracing the divine feminine energy within while keeping your feet firmly on the ground.  x

This month I have chosen one of my favourite poses, Dhanurasana, bow pose, for its uplifting, open hearted, feminine and enlightening energy.

Benefits

  • The liver and abdominal organs and muscles are massaged and the pancreas and adrenal glands are toned;
  • The kidney is massaged and excess fat around the abdominal area is reduced;
  • The bow assists digestion, eliminative and reproductive organs, and improves blood circulation;
  • The spinal column is realigned and chest ailments may be reduced;
  • The chest is opened and the shoulders and buttocks are toned, assisting posture;
  • Period pains can be helped for women;
  • Flexibility and strength are encouraged in the spine;
  • The heart energy centre is opened and healing enhanced;
  • Like a bow, one pulls back to move forward again.
  • Wakes one up!

Contraindications

  • If you have a weak heart, high blood pressure or hernia you should not attempt this pose;
  • Do not practice before sleeping as it stimulates the adrenal organs;
  • Pregnant ladies should not practice this pose.

Photography by Nick Despres, please see www.nickdespres.com

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