Dhanur means bow. Dhanurasana is one of the postures which is mentioned in an old Yogic text Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Given below is the verse from the same text describing about Dhanurasana
पादाङ्गुष्ह्ठौ तु पाणिभ्यां गॄहीत्वा शरवणावधि |
धनुराकर्ष्हणं कुर्याद्धनुर-आसनमुछ्यते || २७ ||
pādāngghuṣhṭhau tu pāṇibhyāṃ ghṝhītvā śravaṇāvadhi |
dhanurākarṣhaṇaṃ kuryāddhanur-āsanamuchyate || 27 ||
Meaning: Holding both the toes of the feet from both the hands, bring them upto the ear imitating a stretched bow, is called Dhanurasana.
- Lie down on your stomach.
- Bend both your knee and hold your respective ankles.
- Inhale and lift your thigh and chest up trying to balance on your stomach (lift your upper body up by pulling your hands with your legs, the more you pull with your legs the more your chest will lift up).
- Stay in this position for about 30 seconds and then exhale placing your knee chest and chin slowly on the ground.
- Stretches and strengthens the thighs (quadriceps).
- Stretches and tones the abdominal muscles, back muscles, chest muscles (intercostal muscles) and arms.
- Can be used as a therapeutic posture for diabetes and asthma.
- Relieves from menstrual discomfort and constipation.
- Strengthens the diaphragm.
- Disease of the backbone, abdominal surgery, hernia or stomach ulcers.