The Bow Pose – Dhanurasana

One of my favourite asanas – Dhanurasana. Dhanu = Bow; this pose is so called because it looks like an archer’s bow.
The spine, which is the very essence of us standing upright, is the main focus of this asana. Bow pose helps to strengthen and develop the spinal column while providing a great stretch to the front of the body – thighs, psoas, abdomen, chest and throat. By strengthening the back muscles in this pose, there can be more flexibility in the back and thus, aids in having better postures. Because bow pose rests on the abdominal area, this asana also helps in improving digestion and relieving constipation.
By resting on the abdominal area in this pose, the reproductive organs get stimulated as well – this is the main reason why this asana is one of my favourite and to me, an important one, due to a uterus surgery that I had to undergo some months back. I resumed yoga practice 2 months after surgery and when I tried to get into bow pose (which was easily accessible before surgery), I found difficulty because resting on the abdomen brought discomfort. However, only with doctor’s professional advice, I continued to do so very gently and the massage this asana provided to the abdominal area was amazing. It can be done gently by placing a folded towel, thick and soft enough for the abdomen to rest on instead of directly onto the mat which can be rather uncomfortable.
Being in a steady and comfortable pose like such aided me in my posture after being bed-riddened for almost 2 months, and also hastened the recovery process as gentle massages improved blood circulation to the uterus. Gentle bow pose definitely served well as my go-to asana, 2 months post-surgery, and performed only with the doctor’s approval.
200-hr Mar’15 Weekday Batch

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