Dhanusha means a bow. The hands are used like a bowstring to pull the head, trunk and legs up and the posture resembles a bent bow. Therefore this asana is called Dhanurasana. This asana bends the spine backwards. It is a combination of Bhujangasana and Shalabhasana. If Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana and Dhanurasana are performed together, they are very beneficial to the body. This trio works contrary to Halasana and Pashchimottanasana which bend the spine forward.
Technique : Lie prone on the floor on the stomach, face downwards. Relax the muscles. Keep the arms resting alongside the body. Bend the legs at the knees. Raise the arms and hold the ankles with the hands. Raise the chest and the head. Fill the lungs with air. Straighten and stiffen the hands. Stiffen the legs also. The body now assumes the posture of a convex arch. If you lift the legs up, you can raise the chest. Hold the breath. Then exhale slowly. Attempt to keep the knees together.
In this asana, the abdomen supports the whole body. So practise this asana when the stomach is empty. The body in Dhanurasana pose gets good exercise if it is lightly rocked from left to right and forward and backward. Stay in this position as long as possible. It can be practised five to six times.
(1) This asana gives a good massage to the abdomen so it cures prolonged constipation, dyspepsia and other disorders of the stomach.
(2) It cures spinal hump and rheumatism of the legs, the knees and the hands.
(3) It reduces fat. Itactivatesthe intestines and increases the digestive power. It nourishes all the abdominal organs by supplying blood to them.
(4) This asana is a blessing to those who suffer from gas and other intestinal disorders.
(5) Like Halasana, this asana rejuvenates the spine. It prevents bones from being untimely degenerated. It activates the pancreas and insulin is produced in proper proportion.
(6) One who regularly practises Halasana, Mayurasana and Dhanurasana never becomes lazy. One is always active and energetic.
(7) This asana is very beneficial specially to women because it alleviatesthe menstrual disorders and improvesthe reproductive system.