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Yoga can Help You Avoid Sciatica & Slipped Disc (Akarna Dhanurasana, Bow to the Ear Yoga Pose)


Akarna Dhanurasana Pose can also Keep Away Arthritis and Rheumatism

Ailments like sciatica, slipped disc, joint pains, gout, arthritis and rheumatism are accompaniments of advancing age, especially so if during your younger days you did nothing to nourish your joints, hip, spine and lumbar region. The Akarna Dhanurasana or the “Bow to the Ear” pose of yoga is one exercise that is easy to learn when you are still young. If you do so it will help you during your advancing years.

By doing this asana you make your body supple as you bend your legs at your hip and knees and lift your legs to touch your ear with your toes. This may sound simplistic, but is difficult as it is beneficial.

A practitioner of Akarna Dhanurasana appears like an archer holding his bow and arrow, hence this pose is called the “Bow to the Ear” pose. Let see how you can do this exercise.

How to Do the Akarna Dhanurasana Exercise

Akarna Dhanurasana

To do this exercise you need to sit on a carpet with your legs placed at right angles to your torso. Breathe easy for the complex steps to follow. Begin with lifting your right leg and fold it at your knee while keeping your left leg straight on the carpet. Place the foot of your right leg on the thigh of your left leg.

Firmly hold the big toe of your right leg with your right hand and start moving the leg up towards your ear. This is the difficult part. As you bring the big toe of the right leg near your face you will experience considerable pressure on your hip, back and legs. But if you can, do try to touch your right ear with the big toe of your upraised foot. This is not an easy move although it may sound simple.

Even if you are not able to touch your ear with your toe, try bringing it as close as you can to your ear. Do not overstretch if you cannot touch your ear. This can be painful. Learn to master it over the next few days. Only those who are lucky enough to have an agile hip can touch their leg to their ear the first time they do it. If need be you may even use both your hands to apply more pressure while lifting your foot towards your ear. When you reach the maximum proximity possible, you may pause and breathe normally.

Place Your Back Against a Wall While You Lift Your Legs

Remember to place your back against a wall while you lift your legs. This will prevent you from losing your balance when you pull your foot upwards. Even if you lose your hold on your leg, something which happens often, you will not fall back. Remember to keep holding the big toe of your left leg with your left hand all through the above steps. The reason why you hold the toe of your other leg is to enable you keep your balance when you lift one leg.

This exercise tones the muscles of your arms. Your hip becomes suppler as it is under pressure. So this pose can help prevent ailments like sciatica and slipped disc.

Exit from the Akarna Dhanurasana

After completing the first cycle, you may bring down your right leg and rest it on your left thigh. Repeat these steps with your left leg that has been kept straight on the floor all the while when you had lifted your right leg. Do the above steps by alternately using your left and right leg as long as you are comfortable.

Benefits of the Akarna Dhanurasana

Improving your body’s resistance to back or hip related ailments like sciatica and slipped disc and joint pains like arthritis and rheumatism is the primary gain from doing this exercise. Your lumbar region, hip and shoulders also get more agile. The best time to do this asana is early morning on an empty stomach. And start doing this asana before you are afflicted by any joint pains, back or hip related ailments to keep these ailments away.

If you already suffer from any of these ailments, avoid doing this asana, as it puts your hip, back and legs under pressure.

To be on the safe side, learn to do this exercise under the guidance of a qualified yoga therapist. Consult your doctor too before you start doing this exercise.

To derive comprehensive benefits from the different yoga exercises, do this asana along with the Normal Naukasana to make your back supple and to stimulate insulin secretion, the Reverse Naukasana to reduce abdominal fat, and the Handstand for building strong arms.