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Dhanurasan (Bow Pose)
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Variation 1 : When this asana is performed, it gives the appearance of a bow. The stretched hands and legs represent the string of a bow; and the body and thighs represent the bow proper.

Lie prone on the blanket. Relax the muscles. Now bend the legs over the thighs. Catch hold of the right ankle with the right hand and the left ankle with the left hand firmly. Raise the head, body, and knees by toughing at the legs with the hands so that the whole burden of the body rests on the abdomen and the spine is nicely arched backward like a bow. Maintain the pose for few seconds and relax the body. Hold the breath while performing this pose. Do not permit jerks when you do this pose.

This is the best exercise for cervical, thoracic, lumbar, or sacral region of the spine. This pose gives the combined effect of the cobra and locust poses. The back muscles are well massaged. This removes constipation and cures dyspepsia, rheumatism, and gastrointestinal disorder.It reduces, fat, energizes digestion, invigorates appetite, and relieves congestion of the blood in the abdominal viscera. This pose is recommended for women.

Variation 2 : This is known as full Dhanurasana or Poorna Dhanurasana. To perform this, considerable flexibility of the spine is required.

Lie on the abdomen and fold the legs at the knees. Take hold of the big toes with the hands and slowly pull the feet toward the head.

This gives maximum exercise to the spine.

Variation 3 : In this pose, half of the body is bent and half is kept straight.

Lie down and fold the right knee. Catch the right toe with the right hand and slowly pull it toward the head, bending the right side of the back. Alternate the procedure for the left side. This can be done two times for each side.

Variation 4 : This pose exercise more effectively the ankle, knee and shoulder muscles. Lie face down and fold the legs. Now press the feet with the hands until the heels touch the floor. Keep the hands until the heels touch the floor. Keep the head above the floor.

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