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Dhanurasana – The Bow Pose.

December 19, 2012

Dhanurasana – The Bow Pose.

Dhanurasana Pose

  • Come to lie in prone position i.e. face down on one’s belly with the forehead on the mat
  •  Bend the legs and grab each foot with each hand respectively between the ankles and the top of the feet
  •  Roll the shoulders back and away from the ears with the intention of the shoulder blades coming together
  •  Simultaneously on the inhalation lift the head and the chest up and stretch the legs as much as possible by taking the feet away from the buttocks, holding firmly on the feet and lifting the knees and thighs off the ground as the arms are stretched and straightened to facilitate the lift of the bent legs.
  •  The knees are not together but about hip distance apart
  •  Ideally, only the abdominal area should be resting on the floor
  •  Look forward or tilt the head back and look upwards
  •  Hold for 5 breaths as a beginner or 8 – 10 breaths or longer as a more advanced practitioner
  • Release the asana on the exhalation gently and slowly and relax the entire body back into prone position.

Counterpose / Pratikryasana:

  •  Lying in prone position with the forehead resting on the back of the hands
  •  Balasana – Child Pose

childs pose angus

Cautions & Modifications:

  •  Do not tilt the head too far back if prone to headaches and migraines as compressing the neck backwards may aggravate or cause a headache
  •  If this backbend proves more of challenge then in preparation grab the ankles instead of the top of the feet, then
  •  Flex the feet so that the hands are firmly held in place by the angle of the ankles and the feet by this flexed position
  •  Keep the thighs and the knees connected to the mat throughout the pose and only
  •  Lift the head and the chest as you intentionally squeeze the shoulder blades together by bending the arms and bringing the elbows in towards one another
  •  This version is ideal for beginners or for those who find the classic pose too strenuous
  •  Always practise a forward bend before and after a back bend to re-align the spine

Benefits:

  • Stretches the spine backwards
  • Rejuvenates and tones the spine
  • Helps to relieve back ache and recovery from spinal injuries
  • It is beneficial for lower back and sciatic pain when there is a slight displacement of the lumbar vertebrae, practising this asana helps to return the discs to the original position
  • Stretches the thigh muscles
  • Expands the chest which in turn facilitates and improves breathing
  • Corrects round drooping shoulders with regular practice
  • Tones and activates the kidneys
  • Massages the abdominal organs, mainly the digestive organs and increases circulation to the abdominal region
  • Creates heat in the body
  • Relieves fatigue by re-energizing the body

Chakra Association:

Svadisthana, Manipura, Anahata and Vishuddha, (especially when taking the head more back the neck is stretched as prana, (energy), moves from the abdominal area up to the throat area clearing any blockages).

Wishing you health and healing.

Much Love,

Juanita.

_______________________________

Juanita CaprariJuanita Caprari is a certified Yoga teacher and Public Relations Practitioner. She started her Yoga practice in 2002. She has completed two Yoga Teacher Training Courses, the last one through Ananda Kutir Ashram and has been teaching Yoga since 2007. jcaprari@mweb.co.za or visit the website www.yogamala.co.za.

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