Dhanurasana ( Bow Pose)
When this Asana is performed, it represents the appearance of a bow (Dhanus). The stretched arms and forelegs form the string of the bow. It bends the spine backwards. It supplements Bhujangasana. We can say it is a combination of Bhujangasana and Salabhasana with the addition of catching the ankles with the hands. Bhujangasana, Salabhasana and Dhanurasana form a valuable combination. They always go together. They form one set of Asanas. This combination acts as a counter-pose to Halasana and Paschimottanasana, which bend the spine forwards.
Lie on your chest with the face downwards. Relax all the muscles. Keep the arms at the sides. Gently fold the legs at the back. Raise your hands backwards. Catch hold of the ankles with the hands. Raise the chest and head. Expand the chest. Keep the arms and forelegs quite straight and stiff. Now a good convex arch is formed. If you stretch the legs, you can raise your chest up. You should dexterously manipulate. Retain the breath in a mild manner and exhale slowly. Do this 5 or 6 times. You can retain the pose as long as you can comfortably keep it. Keep the knees close.
The whole body rests on the abdomen. This Asana gives a good massage to the abdominal region. You must do this Asana when the stomach is empty. You can give a good movement to the bow-shaped body from side to side, laterally and forwards and backwards. They will ensure a thorough massage to the abdomen. Swing, rock and rejoice. Mentally repeat Om, Om, Om.
This is useful in chronic constipation, dyspepsia and sluggishness of liver. It removes hunchback, rheumatism of legs, knee-joints and hands. It reduces the fat, energises digestion, increases peristalsis, invigorates the appetite and relieves congestion of blood in the abdominal viscera and tones them also.
Dhanurasana is a blessing for people who suffer from gastro-intestinal diseases. Like Halasana it keeps the spine elastic. It prevents premature ossification of bones. He who does Halasana, Mayurasana and Dhanurasana can never become lazy. He is full of energy, vigour and vitality.
I. Akarshana Dhanurasana:
This Asana can be termed as Dhanurasana. Sit on the ground. Spread the legs. Catch the right toe with the left hand. Slowly bend the left leg and bring the toes to your chin level and the knee near the left armpit. Now the thigh will touch closely your abdominal portion. Catch hold of the left toe with the right hand and keep the elbow at the back as far as possible. This is more beneficial than the previous variety.