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Dhanurasana

4  Asana practiced while lying on the stomach
Dhanurasana – (Bow Pose) 
 
"Dhanus" means "bow" in Sanskrit. In the final position of this asana, the body takes the shape of a bow, drawn tight to shoot an arrow. The stretched arms and lower legs resemble the taut bowstring, while the trunk and thighs resemble the wooden part of the bow. 

Sequence:
  1. Lie with your abdomen, chest and chin resting on the ground.
  2. Stretch the arms on the sides. Keep the feet a little apart.
  3. Bend the legs backwards and grasp the corresponding ankles firmly.
  4. Hold the arms stiff and straight. Keep the knees sufficiently apart.
  5. Raise your chin and bend your head and neck backward without raising the chest.
  6. Inhaling, pull the legs slowly upward towards the ceiling (not the head).
  7. While pulling hard against the ankles, raise the knees, thighs, hips, the lower region of the navel, chest, shoulders, chin, neck and head upward all together until the body is balanced on the navel region which alone should touch the floor.
  8. Arch the back as much as possible with the arms and legs tugging at each other.
  9. Slowly bring the big toes, the inner edges of the feet and the knees closer and join them together.
  10. Keep your head up and backward as far as you can and look up.
  11. Hold your breath and maintain the posture until you feel the strain.
  12. Exhaling, return slowly to the starting position in the reverse order.  

Caution:
  1. Persons who suffer from high blood pressure, heart ailments, stomach ulcer, colitis, hernia or slipped disc must not attempt this posture.
  2. Those who have undergone any abdominal operation must give it up until they have recovered fully.
  3. Women should not practice this asana during pregnancy. 

Benefits:
  1. Dhanurasana helps to cure rheumatism of the legs, knee-joints, hands.
  2. It relieves pain in the neck and back, and also certain types of lumbar pain.
  3. It also alleviates sciatica.
  4. It helps to set right slipped disc.
  5. It also helps to cure flatulence after meals.
  6. It will eradicate dyspepsia, sluggishness of the liver and urinary troubles.
  7. It relieves constipation by improving the peristaltic action of the intestines. It prevents or gives relief in piles.
  8. It can be specially prescribed for those suffering from diabetes as it stimulates pancreatic action.
  9. It prevents sterility.
  10. Dhanurasana strengthens the muscles of the thighs and buttocks. It makes the abdominal, lumbar and pelvic muscles supple and strong.
  11. This asana has a beneficial effect on the heart, liver, spleen, bladder, the genital organs and the solar plexus.
  12. Dhanurasana promotes digestion by stimulating gastric secretions and relieves congestion of blood in the abdominal viscera.
  13. It reduces excess fat around the abdomen, waist, hips and thighs and is specially beneficial to women.
  14. It improves the posture.
  15. It also rectifies slouching.  

 

 

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