Dhanurasana or popularly known as bow pose, is one of the yoga asanas, which is known for providing relief from stress and anxiety.
Yoga is indeed one of the most popular and effective forms of exercise. It might not be as rigorous as going to the gym or other physical activity, but it is a comfortable and relaxed way to bring balance in the body. It helps in keeping the body physically and mentally fit. It is a useful tool to keep your body and mind in a relaxed state of mind. There are many different asanas in yoga targeting various problems and issues which helps in maintaining the overall health of the individual.
Dhanurasana is one of the asanas which is included mostly in the yoga regime. It is easy to perform in comparison to many other asanas. The literal meaning of Dhanu is a bow. The body forms the shape of a bow which uses the stomach and hands to touch the feet while stretching the full body. Dhanurasana helps in increasing the blood flow in the body and acts as a base to the other Dhanurasana variations. It stretches the entire body and works magically on the abdominal organs.
How to do Dhanurasana?
Dhanurasana or bow pose involves a series of steps that should be understood so that they can be practised in the right manner. It involves the following steps-
- Lie on your belly with your hands next to the torso and palms up. Exhale and bend your knees and bring your heels close to buttocks. Then reach your back and hold your ankles. The knees should not be wider than your hips.
- Now inhale and lift your heels away from your buttocks and thighs from the floor. It will help in pulling the torso and head effectively. Then put your tailbone lower towards the floor and keep the back muscles very soft.
- Now press the shoulders tightly against the back to open the heart while lifting the thighs and heels higher. Then move forward.
- Now breathe higher into your torso and ensure that you don’t stop breathing. The breathing becomes difficult here as the belly is pressed against the floor.
- Try holding the pose for 15 to 20 seconds and then release and lie down and relax and exhale. Repeat the pose two times.
- While doing Dhanurasana, it is necessary to check for your breath. Exhale properly and inhale deeply while raising the body. Keep inhaling and exhaling while holding the posture. Initially, it is essential to exhale correctly.
- Before going for Dhanurasana, some preparatory poses like Bhujangasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Salabhasana, Supta Virasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana can be performed to prepare for Dhanurasana.
- Modification of Dhanurasana- this asana involves a lot of stretching, and so it sometimes becomes difficult to practice the pose. Therefore certain alternatives have been suggested to make the asana easier and enjoyable. 1. Yoga straps can be used around the ankles of the feet if reaching ankles is problematic. 2. Place a blanket below the abdominal area if the excess pressure on the abdomen is exerted. 3. Before practising it on the yoga mat, it should be practised on a firm mattress which will exert less stress on the abs and thighs.
Benefits of Dhanurasana (bow pose)
Dhanurasana has many health benefits and also provides massage to the internal organs of the body. Let’s discuss a few benefits of practising this pose.
- Dhanurasana helps in flushing out the toxins from the body and cleanses the body and promotes the circulation of clean blood in the body.
- The asana strengthens and improves the spinal muscles.
- The asana helps in becoming more active and removes stress from the body. It improves and activates the digestive and reproductive systems of the body.
- It helps in providing relief from asthma and allows the free flow of the nasal passage.
- It promotes better functioning of the abdominal muscles and organs. It massages the liver and improves digestion.
- It also helps in the proper functioning of the kidney.
- Dhanurasana stretches the muscles, nerves and ligaments, which help in curing back pain.
- It helps in effectively reducing weight as it stretches the abdominal muscles. It brings the complete body in shape if practised regularly.
- It also helps in treating menstrual problems in women.
- It makes the body flexible and is beneficial for athletes.
- It makes the shoulders and chest muscles firm and prevents them from sagging.