What is Dhanurasana

What is Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and its Benefits?

What is Dhanurasana or bow pose and its Benefits? Dhanurasana or bow pose is a back-bending yoga posture that strengthens and stretches the leg and arm muscles. Nowadays, we all sit on our computers all day which can be caused hunched posture. So, Dhanurasana which is a heart-opening backbend will improve your posture by opening your chest and shoulders through warming up your hip flexors and hamstrings. During Dhanurasana by strengthening your diaphragm through yoga practice, you will gain awareness of your breath, stay rooted in your body, and calm your mind on and off the mat. The front, back, and sides of your body allow you to stretch your diaphragm for deeper breaths. Deep breathing can help you relax, lower your heart rate, and regulate your blood pressure. Among the easiest yoga poses, Dhanurasana strengthens the digestive system as well as the back and abdominal muscles. It also increases the flexibility of the spine.

What is Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

During Dhanurasana or bow pose the body is in a shape similar to that of a ‘bow’ that’s why it names bow pose or Dhanurasana. Just as a well-strung bow is an asset to a warrior, a well-stretched body helps keep you flexible with a good posture. Dhanurasana is derived from the Sanskrit word: Dhanu + asana, which means as follows:

  • Dhanu – bow
  • Asana – posture or pose.

Dhanurasana is pronounced as da-aah-nu-rah-ash-ana.

The Dhanurasana or bow pose is a brilliant yoga pose, that stretches and stimulates almost every important part of the body, including the arms, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, abdominals, and hamstrings, chest, hips, knees, and neck. Among the three most important back stretches in yoga, Dhanurasana encourages a powerful stretch along the front of the body and a deep enlargement of the heart, helping you cultivate an attitude of fearlessness and grace.

Benefits of Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Dhanurasana or bow pose has numerous health benefits some of them are listed below as follows:

  1. Reduce Anxiety
  2. Relief Fatigue
  3. Strengthens and Stretches Muscles
  4. Improves Blood Circulation
  5. Regulate Periods
  6. Tone Brests
  7. Corrects Posture
  8. Enhance Flexibility
  9. Treat Asthma
  10. Help Diabetes
  11. Relief Back Pains
  12. Massage Liver
  13. Reduce Fat
  14. Treat Kidney Disorder

Now, Let’s discuss how we get these benefits just by practicing Dhanurasana or bow pose as follows:

  • Reduce Anxiety

Practicing Dhanurasana is good for those who suffer from depression and anxiety as it reduces the level of the cortisol hormone.

  • Relief Fatigue

Practicing Dhanurasana is extremely helpful for relieving fatigue and lethargy since it stimulates nerves in the navel region, improving kidney and liver function, digestion, and reproductive system.

  • Strengthens and Stretches Muscles

As your backbends during practicing Dhanurasana, your back muscles are stretched which strengthens your muscles. So, Dhanurasana strengthens and stretches your ankles, thighs, groins, chest, shoulders, neck, back, and abdominal muscles.

  • Improves Blood Circulation

Practicing Dhanurasana improves blood circulation to all of the organs of the body by stretching the whole body.

  • Regulate Periods

Regular practice of Dhanurasana can regulate the periods and reduces menstrual discomfort.

  • Tone Brests

Regular practice of Dhanurasana also helps tone the brests by opening the chest.

  • Corrects Posture

Practicing Dhanurasana strengthening the muscles surrounding the spinal cord and neck corrects the alignment of the spine that leads to correct posture.

  • Enhance Flexibility

Regular practice of Dhanurasana enhances back flexibility by stretching the back and spine.

  • Treat Asthma

Regular practice of Dhanurasana helps to treat asthma.

  • Help Diabetes

Regular practice of Dhanurasana also improves the functioning of the pancreas which helps in diabetes.

  • Relief Back Pains

Practicing Dhanurasana is a great asana to treat back pain since it stretches the back’s nerves, ligaments, and muscles by bending the back. It also strengthens the spine and relieves all kinds of muscle pains.

  • Massage Liver

Practicing Dhanurasana massages the liver by stretching the body and ensuring that all nearby organs function more efficiently.

  • Reduce Fat

Regular practicing Dhanurasana will lose excess body fat, particularly in the belly area. It will also tone your legs and arms.

  • Treat Kidney Disorder

Practicing Dhanurasana helps in treating kidney disorders such as Kidney stones, Glomerulonephritis, Polycystic kidneys, and urinary tract infections(UTI).

Now, discuss how to practice the Dhanurasana or bow pose correctly to get all the above benefits.

How To Do Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

How to do asana or pose Dhanurasana or bow pose includes the beginner’s tips, preparatory poses, the stepwise procedure to do it correctly, duration, release from it, follow-up poses, variations, precautions, and contraindications for Dhanurasana. So, let’s start with beginner tips.

Beginners Tips for Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Here are some of the beginner’s tips for Dhanurasana or bow pose that should keep in mind while performing the asana are as follows:

  • Breathe slowly as you do Dhanurasana.
  • During Dhanurasana stretch your body as far as possible, start slowly and stay gentle with it.
  • Perform Dhanurasana early morning or four to five hours after eating.
  • Before performing Dhanurasana, make sure you have warmed up by preparatory poses.
  • Feel free to use a strap if you cannot hold your ankles if you feel uncomfortable.

Preparatory Poses for Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Here are some preparatory poses for Dhanurasana or bow pose are as follows:

  • Shalabhasana – Locust Pose
  • Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
  • Makarasana – Crocodile Pose

Steps for Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Below is the step-by-step procedure for Dhanurasana or bow pose to do it correctly are as follows:

  1. Lie in Makarasana on a yoga mat.
  2. Now, bend both of your knees.
  3. Now, hold the feet with your both hands.
  4. Ensure your head is on the yoga mat.
  5. Now, Inhale: raise your chest off the ground with pull your legs towards your back.
  6. Keep your head up and smile. This is Bow Pose.
  7. Notice: your body is curved and taut as a bow.

DURATION: Hold the Dhanurasana for 30 to 60seconds.

Release from Dhanurasana or bow pose

After holding Dhanurasana, now its time to release from Dhanurasana or bow pose follow the following steps:

  • Exhale: gently bring down your legs and chest to the ground.
  • Release the hands.
  • Relax in Makarasana.

Follow-Up Poses of Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Below are some of the follow-up poses or counterposes for Dhanurasana or bow pose are as follows:

  • Pavanamuktasana – Wind-Relieving Pose
  • Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend
  • Naman Pranamasana – Rabbit Pose

Precautions and Contraindications for Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Here are some of the precautions and contraindications for Dhanurasana or bow pose you should know before performing the Dhanurasana. The following sufferings people should strictly avoid performing Dhanurasana are as follows:

  • Pregnant women,
  • High or low blood pressure,
  • Hernia,
  • Recent abdominal surgeries,
  • severe lower back pain,
  • migraine,
  • any leg or elbow injury,
  • ulcer,
  • headaches.

Advance Poses or Variations of Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Here we are discussing some of the variations or advanced poses of Dhanurasana or bow pose are as follows:

  • Bow Pose Variation 1 – In this variation, lie on the Stomach, bend the right leg and hold it with the right hand from the foot(as shown in the below picture).
  • Bow Pose Variation 2 – In this variation, bend the legs at the knee, hold the ankles with your hands, raise the chest, stretch the arms and the legs to go in a backbend, and gaze in front (as shown in below picture).
  • Bow Pose Variation 3 – In this variation, in the final position of the Bow pose, turn the torso towards the right side (as shown in the below picture).

The entire body is balanced on the lower abdomen, creating the impression of a powerful bow. Dhanurasana gives the entire back a stretch while working wonders on the abdominal muscles. Dhanurasana is a powerful pose that is similar to a ‘bow’ and works simultaneously on all the parts of the back. Dhanurasana is part of the lying down on the belly category of yoga poses.

Have the questions? Let me know in the comment session below. I will try my best to answer all of them. Thank you. Be Healthy. Be yogic.

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