What is Dhanurasana
Dhanurasana follows well after Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and Bhujangasana as it further develops the opening of the chest and extension of the spine. More effort is required here as the legs and chest are lifted of the floor. It can feel a more effort-full pose, but when the legs start to cooperate and can help to draw the shoulders and chest back, less effort is required.
When to use Dhanurasana
The regular practice of backbends such as Dhanurasana, (outside of the menstrual cycle) can assist in reducing the symptoms of menstruation and help to regulate the menstrual cycle.
The pose can be useful for tightness in the shoulders and neck as the dorsal spine is drawn into the body. The strong opening of the front of the body and lift of the legs brings blood flow to the heart muscle and invigorates the body.
These preliminary backbends help to strengthen the paraspinal muscles and to create space for the spine to lengthen.