Dhanurāsana/ Bow comes from the Sanskrit
dhanura meaning bow and āsana meaning posture. The straight arms
are said to resemble the string of the bow.
The Bow strengthens the entire back, at the same time stimulating the length of the spine. It increases flexibility in the hip and shoulder joints and massages the digestive organs. The liver and spleen are invigorated, removing congestion of blood in the abdominal area.
Lying on the abdomen, bring the forehead to the floor. Bend the knees and catch hold of the ankles. The knees can be separated.
Inhale, raising the head, chest and thighs off the ground as high as possible. Keep the elbows straight and the head back. The whole body rests on abdomen. Straighten the knees as much as possible to bring legs higher off the ground. Hold for at least 3 deep breaths.
To come out of the position.
Exhale, lower the head, chest and thighs to the ground. Release the ankles and lower the legs to the ground.
Relax on the abdomen. Place one hand over the other to make a pillow for the head. Turn the head to the other side resting the cheek on hands. Bring toes together and the heels apart.
Bow common mistakes
The feet should not be held. Do not lift just the upper part of the body. The thighs should not remain on the floor.
The elbows should not bend. The head should not be down or forward. The feet should push up and back.
How to do the BowSivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams
• Great benefits from the cervical through thoracic, lumbar and sacral regions. It gives the combined effect of the Cobra and the Locust. The back muscles are well massaged, and rheumatism is alleviated.
• As the internal organs, especially the digestive organs, are massaged and invigorated, the Bow helps to remove constipation, sluggishness of the liver and to cure dyspepsia (indigestion) and gastro-intestinal disorders.
• The large and small intestine as well as the liver and spleen are benefited. Regular practice of
the Bow helps to reduce fat, energize digestion, invigorate the appetite, and relieve congestion of the blood in the abdominal viscera.
• The Bow is specially recommended for people with diabetes, as it helps to regulate the pancreas.
• The female reproductive system receives a good massage.
• The thoracic region is expanded, a boon to persons suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma.
• It helps hunchback as well as rheumatism of the legs, knee-joints and hands.
• The Bow gives a deep massage to the back muscles. Like the Plough, this keeps the spine elastic.
• Those who do the Plough, Peacock and Bow can never become lazy. They will always be full of energy, vigour and vitality.
Anyone learning these postures should only do so under the supervision of a competent teacher. The instructions shared as part of this exhibit are for reference and knowledge only. Anyone following these on their own, they do so at their own risk. Persons with health issues and or during pregnancy are advised to consult a medical expert before attempting any of the postures.
Demonstrators in the photographs: Kannan, Padmavati, Ananda, Eri, Asha, Shreyas, Rohit
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