Dhanurasana or the bow can be performed as follows:
- Lie down on the floor in prone position with the front of the body on the floor in a straight line.
- Rest one side on the floor bringing the legs and feet together. The upper part of the feet rests on the floor with your toes pointing backwards. Relax your arms to the sides.
- Place your chin on the floor. And now bend your knees and bring the soles of feet behind the body towards the buttocks. Stretch your arms and hands backwards and grab your right ankle with right hand and the left ankle with the left hand.
- Now breathe in and raise your chin above the floor and look straight ahead.
- Breathe out push the soles of the feet towards the ceiling as you are holding them. And away from the body. Pull the ankles up with the hands at the same time raising your knees and thighs above or off the floor.
- At the same time raise your head, shoulders and the chest off the floor, and maintain a balance on the abdomen.
- Bring the legs together with the inner portion of the knees, thighs and ankles touching each other. Take the shoulders back and push them down towards the floor, keeping them parallel and slightly tilt your head backwards.
- Hold this posture for a while balancing the abdomen and breathe normally.
- Release the ankles slowly breathing out lowering of the knees on the floor and extend the legs straight out onto the floor behind the body. Push the palms down into the floor and lower the front of the body to the floor. Relax your arms by the sides; with palms facing towards the ceiling. And rest your head on one side. And followed by relaxing the whole of the body on the floor.
The benefits of this asana are:
- It helps in the expansion and the stretches the Intercostal muscles. Thus increasing the capacity of lungs.
- Brings flexibility in spine.
- It greatly benefits in slipped disc.
- Helps in relieving back pain.
- Tones the muscles of arms and legs.
- Helps in the improvement of digestive problems.
Precautionary measures that are to be followed while performing this asana are;
- Should not be practiced if you are having problems as hernia, bleeding ulcers etc.
- Should also be avoided if you are suffering from high blood pressure.
- And must be performed with extreme caution if you are suffering from knee, hips or back problems.