Dhanurasana (dhanus=bow asana=pose) is ideally practiced after bhujangasana and shalabhasana and should be followed by a forward bending asana. It should not be practiced until at least three or four hours after a meal. The entire alimentary canal is reconditioned by this asana. The liver, abdominal organs and muscles are massaged. People who suffer from colitis, peptic or duodenal ulcers should not attempt this practice. The pancreas and adrenal glands are toned, the kidneys are massaged and excess weight is reduced around the abdominal area. It leads to improved functioning of the digestive organs and helps to remove gastrointestinal disorders, dyspepsia, chronic constipation and sluggishness of the liver. It is useful to manage diabetes and menstrual disorders. It improves blood circulation and respiration. Strengthens the thighs and it helps to correct hunching of the upper back. However people who suffer from a weak heart, hernia or high blood pressure should avoid this asana. Same for women in pregnancy.
Lie flat on the stomach with legs and feet together and your arms by the sides of your body. Bend knees, take your hands backward and hold your ankles. Place the chin on the floor.
Breathing in, lift your chest and head together and push the feet away from the body lifting the thighs. Retain the breath while raising the body. Look straight ahead with a smile on your face. Don’t turn your head right or left. Keep it looking ahead and arching the back let the head tilt back. The abdomen supports the entire body on the floor. Arms straight and relaxed. The only muscular contraction is in the legs. Back also relaxed.
Keep it stable for as long as is comfortable while paying attention to your breath.
Continue to take long deep breaths as you relax in this pose.
Bend only as far as your body permits you to. Do not overdo the stretch.
After 15 -20 seconds, as you exhale, gently bring your legs and chest to the ground. Release the ankles and relax.