Instructions: Lie down on your stomach, on the floor and spread your hands away from your body. Now, bend your leg from the knees towards your hips, try to bring your heels as close to the hips as possible. Hold your ankles firmly with your hands. Keep your knees close to each other and also bring your ankles as close as possible. Rest your head on one of your cheek.
Take a deep breath and look straight, and then hold your breath. Without waiting any longer, raise your head upwards until you see the ceiling. Allow your body to stretch in a curve. Do not strain yourself and keep your body loose. Hold your ankles firmly and pull back your legs as much possible. Maintain a stable posture. Your hands must be outstretched and taut. This posture allows all your pressure to mount up on your stomach, and thus you accomplish Dhanurasana. Remain in this posture for six to eight seconds.
Start to exhale steadily and slowly, gradually bring your chest to the floor. Do not rush and keep holding your ankles. Rest your head on one of your cheek and breathe normally. Release your ankles and allow your legs to steadily get back to the floor, spread your hands away from the body and relax. This last action completes Dhanurasana. After six to eight minutes of relaxation, repeat the whole exercise in the same sequence. On the very first day, this yoga exercise must be performed only twice and later on increase the number of trial to four times (maximum).
Benefits: Dhanurasana invigorates and fortifies the joints. This asana has a powerful effect on the muscles of your stomach, as a result lessening the possibility of many disorders of the stomach and suppresses abdominal ailments thereby accelerating digestion. This yoga exercise had proved in reducing unwanted fat deposited in the stomach and hips area. Dhanurasana boosts the flexibility of the spinal cord resulting in reduction of stomach ache and other abnormalities.
Dhanurasana activates the lungs and strengthens the chest and the neck. It plays a crucial role in diminishing the issues related a female’s reproductive organs and menstrual disorders, thus helping to contract the stomach. With regular practice one can be successful in staying away from breathing disorders. Dhanurasana make the throat, chest, ribs and the nervous system strong and healthy. It helps getting rid of the troubles of digestive system. This exercise aids in excretion and has proven to be beneficial for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Note: Kumbhaka (breath retention) is also possible with this asana. If comfortable, you can try to swing your body back and forth once you are in the Dhanurasana posture.
This asana is very popular and can be done by men and women of any age.