Dhanurasana

Dhanurasana 

This asana is so named because the shape the body takes is similar to that of a tensed bow. 
Method

1. Lie down on a mat, on your stomach.

2. Bring your feet up, by bending your knees.

3. Hold your ankles with your hands.

4. Breathe IN. Use the force of your hands, pull your feet so your thighs are off the floor. Simultaneously, lift your head, shoulders and chest from the floor.

5. Look up.

6. Hold this pose for around five to eight seconds, more if possible.

7. Your body would be in the shape of a bow, with only your stomach and pelvic area resting on the floor. The entire weight of your body would essentially be concentrated on your navel area.

Advanced: Rock yourself back and forth gently while holding on to your ankles.

8. Exhale when returning to the normal position. 
Benefits

This asana has numerous benefits. It is a combination of two asanas (Bhujangasana - the cobra pose, in which only the front of the torso is raised, and the Shalabhasana or the grasshopper asana, in which the legs are raised).

  • Strengthens kidneys
  • Strengthens back muscles
  • Strengthens thigh muscles

In addition, it is also found to be extremely beneficial for diabetics and those with constipation problems. 

Don't attempt this asana if:

You have back problems, hernia or cervical spondylosis.

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Some important asanas - click on each to know more