Yoga is the gateway to health, material and spiritual prosperity. Anyone who has practiced yoga with proper breath and body alignment has experienced the benefits at least to some extent. Yoga is a science of asanas or postures, which when done precisely, improves blood flow, builds body flexibility/resilience, strengthens the organs, calms the mind, regulates the flow of energy etc. It is the single most potent practice that is inclusive of all aspects of well-being of the mind, body, emotions and energy.
Yoga is a vast and versatile science with a myriad asanas in its repertoire. An experienced yoga master knows how to carefully pick the right asanas and string them together in a certain sequence to target specific areas of the body. The length of the practice could vary between 30 minutes to an hour.
However with the fast pace of life, shorter practices that can fit into our busy lifestyle are becoming popular. This is the classic conundrum – wanting to practice yoga to experience its tremendous benefits, but not having the needed time to invest into it. In response, a paradigm shift has occurred, where we are encountering shorter practice durations with targeted asanas taking anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes.
Even one simple asana has the potential to bring transformation in the system. The Bow Pose or the Dhanurasana is a tremendously involved and intense asana with many benefits. This pose may look intimidating, but with practice one can go into it with ease. Regular practice of Dhanurasana brings stability and empowerment and comes with the following benefits.
- The bow pose balances the adrenal glands and regulates the stress response and hormones.
- The bow pose uses the entire body. This strengthens the muscles in the back, abdomen, arms, legs, chest, arms, abdomen, hips, groin, thighs, and ankles.
- The spine is flexed in the pose. This activates spinal nerves, increases circulation, and strengthens the entire length of the spine.
- It is extremely beneficial for the respiratory system. Opening the rib cage allows the lungs to expand, allowing deeper breathing and can help relieve breathing problems and ailments, such as asthma and bronchitis.
- The pose opens the diaphragm and is a fantastic stretch for the shoulder joints, releasing the tension at the back of the neck and shoulder blades to bring complete relaxation to that area.
- It can relieve menstrual discomfort. The angle of the pose improves blood flow to the intestines, liver, kidney, spleen and other organs located in the torso. This aids digestion and reduces constipation.
- The bow pose stimulates the solar plexus area, which is the area the Manipura chakra is situated. The Manipura charka, is responsible for willpower, feelings of empowerment, self-esteem, confidence and responsibility. A balanced Manipura allows one to take decisions quickly and respond consciously to situations vs being reactive.
If pregnant, dealing with back pain and other health condition, please do not attempt this pose.
This is a tremendously powerful pose and should be approached with care and attention. As it involves flexing the spine it is important to warm up and stretch before getting into the pose.
Let’s take a bow to appreciate this simple yet potent asana, the deliverer of immense benefits.
Follow along with this video to learn this asana.
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