Floor Bow Pose: Dhanurasana

Purposes and Benefits:

– Works entire spine
– Boosts circulation to heart and lungs
– Improves oxygen intake by opening rib cage; this enables maximum expansion of lungs
– Upgrades functioning of spleen, kidneys, liver, and small and large intestines by massaging abdomen
– Enhances digestion
– Opens shoulder joint
– Helps correct posture
– Develops internal balance and harmony
– Invigorates mental focus and perseverance
– Betters flexibility of deltoid, latissimus, scapula, and trapezius muscles
– Stretches hip flexors and psoas muscle
– Relieves backaches by invigorating entire spine
– Revitalizes all spinal nerves by increasing circulation to all of spine
– Strengthens abdominal muscles, hips, thighs, and upper arms

How to Do:

  • Lie on belly, bend knees, reach back, and grab outside of each foot 2 inches below toes
  • Keep feet and knees together as close as possible
  • Ensure the following: Wrists have not twisted downward; Wrists remain straight by grabbing; feet with fingers, not palms; Hips aren’t tilted to 1 side
  • Inhale deeply and simultaneously kick back into hands and lift thighs and upper body away from floor
  • For more power, push hips and pelvis into floor before lifting legs up and back
  • Release shoulders back as you lift torso
  • Roll body weight forward to balance on middle of belly
  • Use inner-thigh strength to keep knees and feet 6 inches apart
  • If needed, avoid kicking legs up too high
  • Flex or point toes toward mirror, not ceiling
  • Work toward these goals: Relax neck and drop head back as much as possible; Look for toes and use equal strength in both legs to kick
  • Hold pose while doing 80-20 breathing for 20 seconds
  • Slowly lower torso and legs to floor