Everything To Know About Dhanurasana – The Bow Pose

Nov/16/2021 / by Team SEEMA
Image credits: Yoga Journal

Bow posture (Dhanurasana) is one of the 12 fundamental hatha yoga poses. Archer’s bow-like pose is called Urdva Chakrasana. The words “Dhanu” and “Asana,” respectively, translate as “bow” and “posture,” respectively, in Sanskrit. With a strong stretch across your front and a profound opening at your heart center, a courageous and graceful attitude may be developed with this yoga position. It is one of three back-stretching exercises.

Yoga’s Dhanurasana stance stretches and stimulates practically all of the body’s major muscle groups: arms, shoulders, and back; biceps, triceps; core (abs), hamstrings; chest; hips; knee; and neck.

What Are The Advantages Of Dhanurasana Yoga?

Dhanurasana yoga’s advantages range from emotional well-being to physical wellness. Regular Dhanurasana practice has many positive effects on the body.

  • This position expands the abdomen and abdominal organs, stimulating the reproductive functions.
  • It strengthens and stretches the ankles, thighs, groins, chest, shoulders, neck, backbone, as well as abdominal muscles.
  • Dhanurasana practice aids in the loss of calories and the burning of body fat, particularly in the abdomen. It additionally helps in the toning of the legs and arms.
  • It is particularly beneficial in terms of lowering weariness and lethargy. This asana strengthens the muscles in the navel area, which enhances kidney and liver functioning, the digestive system, and the reproductive system.
  • It also helps with digestion and appetite.
  • Dhanurasana improves blood circulation to the whole body and organs.
  • It also aids those suffering from renal (kidney) illnesses such as kidney stones, glomerulonephritis, kidney diseases, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and so on.
  • Dhanurasana is a helpful asana for treating back pain because it stretches the nerves, tendons, and ligaments in the back.
  • This yoga position stimulates the liver and improves the function of all the surrounding organs.
  • Dhanurasana position aids in the treatment of asthma.
  • It may also aid with menstruation cramps and constipation.
  • It treats gastritis (obesity), rheumatism, and digestive issues.
  • It also enhances pancreatic function and is good for diabetes.

What Are The Variations Of Dhanurasana?

Image credits: Femina

Dhanurasana Parsva

It is a prone back-bending stretching stance. Additionally, this stance is referred to as the side bow pose or flank bow pose. This is an intermediate-level position in which the body is rolled to the side to maximize the stretch effect.

Purna Dhanurasana

The entire body appears to be in the form of a completely extended bow in this asana, a deep backbend stance that opens the heart.

How to Do the Dhanurasana Pose Correctly?

  1. Bow Pose may be performed on a yoga mat or a carpeted floor. No equipment is required, however, a yoga towel is recommended.
  1. Lie completely flat on your stomach. Maintain a flat chin and hands at your sides. Your palms should face upward.
  1. While bending your knees, exhale. Bring your heels as near to your buttocks as possible. Your knees should be apart by about a hip width.
  1. Raise your hands and grab your ankles. Take hold of the ankle, not the top of the foot. Your fingers should be wrapped around your ankles, but not your thumb. Maintain a pointed toe.
  1. Inhale and pull the heels away from the buttocks while maintaining a firm grip on the ankles. Lift your head, torso, and thighs away from the mat simultaneously. Rotate your shoulders securely and comfortably while you lift. Only your core should remain on the mat at this moment, while the rest of your body is hoisted toward the sky.
  1. To intensify the stretch, draw your tailbone into the mat. As your weight and balance transfer to your core, you should feel a stretch in your back. You should have an open chest and shoulders.
  1. Maintain a straight gaze and maintain the stance for about 15 seconds, concentrating on stretching, breathing, and balance.
  1. Exhale and come out of the posture. Reduce the height of your head, chest, thighs, and feet to the mat. Release your ankles and bring your hands back to your sides. Rest for some time before repeating the posture or moving on to the next stance.

If you find the stretching too strenuous, you may include a few tweaks to the stance. After all, excessive stretching may result in discomfort and damage. If you are unable to directly grip your ankles, wrap a strap over the fronts of your ankles and hold the strap’s free ends while maintaining your arms fully extended. Additionally, if the strain on the abdominal region is painful, you may use a blanket to support the pelvis and lower abdomen.

Common Errors To Avoid

It is critical to avoid these mistakes in order to avoid injury and preserve appropriate techniques.

Avoid Grasping the Tops of Your Feet

When reaching back with your hands, grip your ankles alone, not the whole of the foot. While the ankle is the most stable area of the foot, grasping the top of the feet might result in slippage. If your hands slide, you risk losing your equilibrium and colliding with the floor with your chin or chest.

Maintain Hip-width Knees

The breadth of your knees is critical for appropriate Bow Pose form. When your knees are too close together, you may have a backache. Additionally, it might expand the hips inappropriately, resulting in straining. Maintaining a hip-width gap between your knees assists the body in aligning properly and pleasantly.

Rotate the Shoulder Socket With Extreme Caution

Bow Pose asks you to reach back and then elevate your arm. Throughout the exercise, ensure that you rotate your shoulder gently and cautiously. Scurrying via the reaching and raising of your arms might damage or irritate your shoulder.

Safely Exit the Pose

Bow entry and exit For novices and those with limited flexibility, posing may be challenging. It is critical to carefully release the position to avoid damage and strain. Release the stance after your head, chest, thighs, and feet have been lowered. When certain body parts are raised, releasing the position might result in a painful collision with the floor. Slowly lower yourself and then release your ankles when it is safe to do so.

Avoid Holding Your Breath

Holding your breath is a necessary component of several yoga positions and may be helpful. You do not have to hold your breath in Bow Pose. To get the benefits of this stance, use the proper breathing rhythm. As you bend into and out of the position, exhale. When you raise, inhale. Holding your breath may cause the chest to close up.

What Is The Meaning Of Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) Breathing?

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Breathing is regarded as the most critical skill for doing any yoga asana. Flexibility in the body can only be acquired by consistent yoga practice along with good breathing. The following are the most critical breathing methods for achieving mastery of Dhanurasana.

  • When you are in Makarasana (Crocodile Posture), before transitioning to the bow pose, take a few deep breaths to assist your spine.
  • Exhale while stretching the arms behind you and holding the bowed legs at the ankles. Breathe normally while resting your forehead on the floor. Ascertain that the body is straight and aligned properly with the mat.
  • While lifting the brow off the floor, take a deep breath and extend the upper body, shoulders, and chest forward and backward, while maintaining a firm grip on the ankles. Remember the mul-mantra of breathing once again. Never forget to breathe at any point.
  • Once you’re comfortable in the posture, begin slow breathing and attempt to lift the thighs higher with each inhalation, while simultaneously moving the chest and shoulders backward.
  • The more time you spend practicing deep, steady breathing, the more balanced your body will become. Along with deep breathing, attempt to maintain this stance with your eyes closed.
  • Exhale gently now, lowering both knees, shoulders, and chin. Then relax by releasing the ankles and stretching the legs on the floor.
  • Finally, do Makarasana and begin stretching the whole body back to the floor, relaxing.

Who Should Not Perform The Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)?

Due to the pose’s powerful effect on the abdomen region, there are several restrictions on who can and can not practice it. Avoid practicing Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) if you have any of the following:

  • As this stance makes breathing a bit more difficult, it may reduce blood supply to the brain.
  • Hernia
  • Insomnia
  • Injury to the neck
  • Spondylitis
  • Lower back pain or a back injury
  • Migraine headache
  • Ulcer in the stomach
  • Abdominal surgery performed recently
  • Pregnant women should abstain from doing this Dhanurasana stance. It is crucial to understand the architecture of the body and the effects of various yoga poses. If you are a total newbie in yoga, refrain from doing dhanurasana steps at home.

FAQs About Dhanurasana

What exactly is Dhanurasana and what are its benefits?

Dhanurasana is a simple yoga pose that improves the digestive system, back, and abdominal muscles. Additionally, it promotes the spine’s flexibility. For example, it helps in the prevention of diabetes, alleviates back discomfort, and improves thigh muscles.

Who should avoid doing Dhanurasana?

If you have any one of the below conditions, do not practice Dhanurasana or bow pose:

– Hypertension or hypotension.
– Hernia.
– Lower back, neck, shoulder, and wrists injuries.
– Migraine or headache.
– Abdominal surgery was performed recently.

Does Dhanurasana help with back fat reduction?

Dhanurasana is a really efficient weight-loss pose. It is a fundamental Hatha yoga pose. This position is quite efficient in reducing back fat and relieving joint discomfort.


The Dhanurasana is often considered an advanced yoga pose, however, with the correct guidance, anyone can easily perform it. So, follow the steps above and be careful to avoid the common errors and you should be able to properly perform the bow pose and benefit from its advantages.

For more information about other yoga poses and their benefits, keep reading Seema.


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