Asana name: Bow Pose Prone

Sanskrit name: Dhanurasan (prone)

Meaning: Bow Pose

General Benefits:
The body weight is balanced on the abdominal muscles and they are given pressure so that the intra-abdominal organs, i.e. stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas and intestines are massaged by the change in pressure. It also improves the secretions of these organs. It improves the peristalsis of the intestine and relieves constipation. The blood flow to the abdominal organs is also improved. Sluggishness of the liver is removed as is dyspepsia. With regular practice it will reduce the fat around the abdomen and thigh areas. This asana creates strength in the muscles of the spinal cord and the nerves of the back. It helps to realign the spine. It also strengthens the muscles of the arms and thighs. It widens and opens the chest area thereby improving respiration, relieving asthma and bronchitis. It is helpful for breast development and helps to remove hunching of the upper back and shoulders. There is an improvement in the circulation of lymph and blood throughout the body especially the arms and legs due to the toning of the muscles. Tones the adrenal glands and balances their secretions. Massages the kidneys. Stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.

Benefits for Women:
Helps to treat menstrual disorders, incontinence and constipation.

Therapeutic Applications:
Diabetes. Incontinence. Colitis. Menstrual disorders. Asthma. Constipation

Taking the Position:
In prone position bend both legs and bring them to hip distance from each other. Hold both legs firmly near the ankles. Exhale and while inhaling pull the legs upwards with the hands and raise the chest, allowing the whole body to be stretched in a curve, raising the neck to gaze towards the ceiling. Maintain the asana, breathe normally.

Releasing the Positions:
Inhale and while exhaling lower both knees, shoulders and chin slowly to the ground. Release the ankles and bring the hands beside the body. Straighten the bent legs to the floor returning to Prone position. Breath normally.

Anatomical Focus:
The stretch on the front side of the body, compression of the spine and stretch into the arms and legs.

Anatomical Awareness:
Focus on chest, abdomen and lower back.

Try to balance on the abdomen. Keep the knees and thighs off the ground; keeping about 1 foot distance between knees. Raise the chest and shoulders off the ground. Open the chest and pull the shoulders back.

Bend the arms. Drop the head.

Precautions & Contraindications:
Should be completely avoided if you are suffering from diseases of the backbone. If there is recent abdominal surgery, hernia or ulcer in the stomach this posture should be avoided. Must be avoided if suffering T.B. Pregnancy and menstruation.

Variations & Tips:
There will be some rocking movement because of the diaphragm movements for breathing. Some people finding it easier to come into the position if they place their forehead on the floor before raising the body.

Preparatory Poses:
Saralhasta Bhujangasana. Vakrahasta Bhujangasana. Shalabhasana. Ardha Dhanurasana.

Follow-up Poses:
Naukasana. Ardha Paschimottanasana. Paschimottanasana. Vajrasana Yoga Mudra Type 1 and 2.