About Dhanurasana Yoga (Bow Pose):
Dhanurasana is made of two words, dhanu means bow and asana means posture. When you perform the asana, your body actually resembles a stretched bow, your hands being the strings thus the name bow pose. In this you use your hands and arms to pull your trunk and legs up together to form a curve. It tones back muscles and maintains the elasticity of spine, improving posture and increasing vitality.
Steps of Dhanurasana Yoga (Bow Pose):
1. Begin with lying down on your belly with your hands on either side of your torso and palms facing upwards.
2. Keep both legs a bit apart. Relax your whole body.
3. Now while exhaling, bend your knees and bring your heels as close to your buttocks as possible.
4. Now, slowly fold your knees up and hold your ankles with your hands.
5. Then raise your chin and then bend your head and neck backwards. The chest should still be touching the ground. Inhale slowly and pull your legs up.
6. Keep raising your head, neck, chin, chest, thighs and knees backwards, such that only the navel region is touching the ground. Balance your body on the navel region.
7. Hold your breath and maintain this posture until you feel the strain in your back.
8. Remain in this position for 20-30 seconds. Then slowly go back to the original position, lying quietly for a few breaths.
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Health Benefits of Dhanurasana Yoga (Bow Pose):
1. Dhanurasana strengthens the back and abdominal muscles.
2. It stimulates the reproductive organs.
3. It adds greater flexibility to back muscles.
4. It is a good stress and fatigue buster.
5. It relieves menstrual discomfort and constipation as it massages liver.
6. It tones the leg and arm muscles.
7. It is helpful for the people suffering from kidney disorders.
8. It helps in weight loss.
9. It helps to flush blood to the entire body as well as various organs. Therefore, to a greater extent, it works as a cleansing process.
10. Dhanurasana realigns the back thereby improves the breathing processes. This in turn leads to free flow of air through the nasal passages. Therefore, it cures asthma.
11. Helps in toning and regulating pancreas thus it stimulates further secretion of the correct amount of glucagon and insulin that helps in balancing of sugar in the blood.
12. It improves the concentration level.
13. It improves both buttocks and thigh muscles.
Precaution Dhanurasana Yoga (Bow Pose):
1. Do not practice Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) if you have high or low blood pressure, hernia, neck injury, pain in the lower back, headache, migraine or a recent abdominal surgery.
2. This pose should be avoided during pregnancy.
3. People suffering from heart problems should avoid this.
4. This asana should be performed on an empty stomach.
5. It is recommended not to do Dhanurasna immediately before going to bed at night as this asana stimulates the adrenal glands and the sympathetic nervous centre in the navel, which may leads to sleep problems.
6. Pull your chest and thighs equally up and do not bend your elbows.
7. Keep the width of your knees strictly according to the width of your shoulders.
8. Persons with sway back or severe backache should avoid this.