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    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