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Monday, November 30, 2009

Dhanurasana - The Bow Pose

"Dhanus" means "bow" in Sanskrit. As the name suggests, this asana involves stretching the body to prepare a shape of a bow, drawn tight to shoot an arrow. The arms and lower legs are stretched in thye form to give an impression of the taut bowstring, while the trunk and thighs give an impression of the wooden part of the bow.

  • Start with lying down straight on your abdomen, along with chest and chin resting on the ground.
  • Keep the arms at a distance from the body stretched on the sides. Feet must be at a little distance from each other.
  • Lift the legs up and bend them backwards holding the ankles with hands firmly.
  • Keep the arms stiff and straight. There must be a comfortable distance between knees.
  • Lift your chin up and bend your head and neck in the backward direction but ensure not to lift up the chest.
  • Breathe in, stretch the legs gradually in upward direction towards the ceiling (not the head).
  • The most important step is to pull hard against the ankles, raise the knees, thighs, hips, the lower region of the navel, chest, shoulders, chin, neck and head upward all together to the extent the body is balanced on the navel region which alone should touch the floor.
  • Make an arch with the help of back to the extent you feel comfortable, using the arms and legs tugging at each other.
  • Keep the big toes, the inner edges of the feet and the knees closer gradually and join them together.
  • Make the shape of a bow with your head lifted up and backward and keep looking up.
  • Get relaxed and hold your breath so as to maintain the posture to the extent of strain.
  • Breathe out, and gradually come back to the original position in the reverse order.
  • Patients of high blood pressure, heart ailments, stomach ulcer, colitis, hernia or slipped disc are advised not to perform this asana.
  • It is recommended for the people who have undergone any surgical abdominal procedure to avoid this asana till recovered fully.
  • Women are advised not to practice this asana during pregnancy.
  • Dhanurasana is a beneficial remedy for rheumatism of the legs, knee-joints, hands.
  • Helps to get rid of pain in the neck and back, and also certain types of lumbar pain.
  • Helps to cure sciatica.
  • Beneficial to set right slipped disc.
  • Good remedy to get rid of flatulence after meals.
  • One can get permanent releif from dyspepsia, sluggishness of the liver and urinary troubles.
  • The asana synchronizes the peristaltic action of the intestines thereby curing constipation. It also helps to cure piles.
  • The patients of diabetes must do this asana regularly to cure diabetes as it stimulates pancreatic action.
  • It prevents sterility.
  • Dhanurasana is specially beneficial for the muscles of the thighs and buttocks to give them strength. It makes the abdominal, lumbar and pelvic muscles supple and strong.
  • This asana improves the functioning of the heart, liver, spleen, bladder, the genital organs and the solar plexus.
  • Dhanurasana cures indigestion by stimulating gastric secretions and helps to combat congestion of blood in the abdominal viscera.
  • It diminishes the extra fat around the abdomen, waist, hips and thighs and thus helps women who are weight conscious.
  • It balances the posture. It also rectifies slouching.

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