Dhanurasana – The Bow Pose

Dhanurasana or the Yogic Bow Pose, is so called as it resembles a bow when it is performed (“Dhanur” means Bow in sanskrit). In Dhanurasana, body and the legs take the shape of the bow, while the hands look like the string.


How to do Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose) ?

  1. Lie down flat on your stomach with your hands on the side. Relax and breathe normally.
  2. Slowly bend your knees backwards as far as possible, almost touching the back of your buttocks.
  3. Now arch your head and neck upwards and backwards. Slowly move the hands towards the lower leg. Use both your hands and try to get hold of your lower leg at the ankles. Hold on to the ankles till you complete the asana.
  4. Now inhale deeply and expand your chest. At the same time, pull the legs upwards using your hands. Arch your trunk backward and upwards along with your head and neck. When fully stretched, your shape will resemble a bow. Your thighs will be raised above the ground and you will be resting on the abdomen and the lower part of the chest alone.
  5. Continue in this position as much as you are comfortable, starting from few seconds up to 30 seconds.
  6. Release the pose by letting go of the lower legs and bringing the legs, trunk and head to the original supine position. Exhale during this process of releasing the pose.
  7. Dhanurasana gives a very good back bend. It is good to follow it up by a counter pose to stretch the body in the opposite direction. The child’s pose can be a good counter pose for Dhanurasana. To perform the child’s pose, Kneel on the floor and bend forward, putting your head between the knees and the forehead touching the floor. Take your hands behind your buttocks and hold your right wrist with your left hand. Adjust your position to relax all your body parts. Breathe slowly and deeply in this position. Stay as much as you are comfortable.
  8. Slowly release the child’s pose and rest in shavasana.


Benefits of Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose)

  1. Dhanurasana improves the strength of the back and the lower abdominal muscles.
  2. It gives a good stretch to the shoulders, hands, thorax, thighs and the legs.
  3. Dhanurasana massages the abdomen and internal organs.
  4. It improves digestion.
  5. It massages the pancreas and is good for diabetic patients.
  6. Dhanurasana expands the chest and corrects stooping of the back and shoulders.