Sanskrit: धनुरासन; Dhanur – Bow, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As dah-noo-rah-sah-nah. Bow pose (Dhanurasana) is aptly named to describe the curved shape of the body, which is similar to the shape of an archer’s bow with its string stretched taut, ready to release an arrow. Maintaining a strong intention and an unwavering commitment to staying true to your expression of the pose is the key to ensuring that your arrow meets the mark! Physically, stretching out the chest and shoulders is an excellent exercise for those who sit hunched over a desk all day, and is also great preparation for more challenging backbends such as Wheel pose.
How to do Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)?
- Lie flat on the stomach with the legs 1 foot apart and chin on the floor, bend the knees, grab hold of your ankles and bring the heels close to the buttocks.
- Inhale, tense the leg muscles and push the feet away from the body.
- Arch the back, lifting the thighs, chest and head together, keep the arms straight.
- In the final position the abdomen supports the entire body on the floor.
- hold the pose for 5 breaths.
- exhale, slowly release the pose, relax the leg muscles, lower the legs, chest and chin to the starting position.
Benefits of Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Bow pose is one of the few Yoga poses, which comprising the benefits of two different asanas i.e. Bhujangasna and Shalabhasana. The following important advantages of Dhanurasana are as follows:
• Bow pose for weight loss: Dhanurasana give maximum stretch on the abdomen and abdominal sides. Regular practice of this asana helps to shed and burn fat of the above said regions of the body. It also provides overall toned shaped to the entire body.
Modifications & Variations
- Good for lethargy: Bow pose is very useful for overcoming lethargy. It works directly on the solar plexus at the navel region, which is a large sympathetic nervous centre. These nerves facilitate better efficiency, which in turn leads to improved functioning of vital organs such as digestive, eliminative and reproductive.
- Massage Liver: It ensures proper functioning of entire abdominal organs. It massages the liver, which in turn aids digestion.
- Treats diabetes: The pancreas gets appropriate toning by performing Dhanurasana. It stimulates further secretion of the correct amount of glucagon and insulin that helps in balancing of sugar in the blood. Both the diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 will be benefited by practicing this important yoga posture.
- Blood cleansing: Since, it helps to flush blood to the entire body as well as various organs. Therefore, to a greater extent, it works as cleansing process.
- Kidney health: By performing bow pose, the kidneys works more efficiently, which leads to better fluid balance in the body.
- Strengthens spinal columns: Dhanurasana refreshes and rejuvenates the spinal column. It relieves stiffness and the spine is made more supple and healthy because the ligaments, muscles and nerves are given a good stretch. This asana brings back elasticity to the spines and toned the abdominal organs.
- Good for heart: It massages the heart. This is done by the diaphragm, which is pushed towards the heart by the extra pressure in the abdomen.
- Cures asthma: It is one of the best yoga poses for removing the hunching tendency of asthmatics, which aggravates ill health. Dhanurasana realigns the back thereby improves the breathing processes. This in turn leads to free flow of air through the nasal passages.
- Massage thyroid and adrenal glands: The secretion of the adrenal glands is regularized. Blood is flushed through the glands. It is this effects that quickly removes tiredness, for cortisone secreted to give you the required lift or if you are overactive, the secretion of cortisone is reduced so that the body attains balance.
- Cures back pain: The ligaments, muscles and nerves in the back are given good stretch and the spinal column is rejuvenated. It is beneficial for treating back pain.
- Treats slipped discs: The persons who are experiencing slipped discs have obtained relief from the regular practice of Dhanurasana and Shalabhasana.
- Strengthens shoulders: Bow pose strengthens your shoulders, arms, neck, abdomen, back, thighs & hamstring muscles.
- Locate navel: It sets the dislocated navel right, which could be the cause of pain in the stomach, legs or even loose motions or constipation.
People with weak heart, high blood pressure, hernia, colitis, peptic or duodenal ulcers shouldnʼt practice this pose. It shouldnʼt be practiced until at least 3-4 hours after a meal and before sleep as it stimulates the adrenal glands and the sympathetic nervous system.