Sunday, August 16, 2009

Yoga Posture: The Bow (Dhanurasana)

Dhanu means a bow. The Bow is a backward bending exercise which raises both halves of the body at the same time. When the Bow or Dhanurasana is performed, the body is bent to give the appearance of a bow. The stretched (straight) arms resemble the bowstring.

This asana gives the combined effect of the Cobra and Locust Poses. These three exercises can always be done together, forming a valuable set of backward bending exercises. The Bow can act as a counter-pose to Halasana (Plough) and Paschimotanasana (Forward Bend). It is a full backward bend to complement these two forward bending exercises. As the two forward bend flexes the spine, the Bow extends it.

Physical Benefits
  • Massaages and invigorates the internal organs, especially the digestive organs. The large and small intestine as well as the liver and spleen are benefited. Fat is removed. The Bow relieves congestion of blood in the abdominal viscera and tones them.
  • This asana is useful in aiding chronic constipation, dyspepsia, the sluggishness of the liver and gastro-intestinal disorders.
  • The Bow is specially recommended for people with diabetes, as it helps to regulate the pancreas.
  • Strengthens the abdominal muscles.
  • Women specially benefit from the Bow.
  • The thoraic and the chest region is expanded, a boon to persons suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma.
  • It helps hunchback, rheumatism of the legs, knee-joints and hands.
  • Enhances the elasticity of the spine.
  • The Bow works on the entie spine. Flexibility is brought to all regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral.
  • Massages all the muscles of the back.
  • Just as the Forward Bend hyper-extends the spine, so the Bow hyper-contracts it.
  • Ossification of the bones is prevented.

Mental Benefits
  • Regular practice develops internal balance and harmony.
  • Strengthens concentration and mental determination.

Pranic Benefits
  • The person who practises the Bow regularly can never be lazy, but will be full of energy, vigour, and youthful vitality.
  • Stimulates the lung, small intestine, stomach, liver, and urinary bladder meridians.

Common Faults
  • Hands are clasped around the feet, rather than around the ankles.
  • Only the upper part of body is being lifted up from the ground.
  • Elbows are bent, and the knees are bent too sharply, allowing the heels to come down to the buttocks.
  • Body is twisted to one side.
  • Head is forwards, rather than being stretched up and back.

Note: Please perform the yoga posture under the guide of a certified yoga teacher especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.

Source from Light on Yoga by  B.K.S. Iyengar
                      Yoga Mind & Body by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre