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Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

Dhanurasana, or bow pose, is a beginner level position that aims to stretch your abdomen,thighs, thorax, ankles, groin, psoas major muscles, throat and chest.


The health benefits associated with the dhanurasana pose provides many health benefits. Firstly it strengthens and tones the abdominal and pectoral muscles; as well as the muscles of the upper, middle and lower back. The toning and strengthening of back muscles greatly improves the alignment, posture and flexibility of the spinal column. With regular use, the dhanurasana pose will lead to increased blood supply to the quadriceps, ankles, groin, hips and throat. With regard to digestion, the pose puts additional pressure on the stomach to increase the movement of the digestive tract (via a positive feedback mechanism). You may also begin to feel a surge in sexual libido and virility. For women, it has been reported to remove the discomfort associated with menstrual cramps. In fact, the dhanurasana pose can even help the healing process for respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD, bronchitis and emphysema. Lastly, regular use of this pose can help improve the overall quality of your mental health – leading to decreased mental fatigue, stress and anxiety.


However, if you have recently suffered from any neck or lower back injury, suffer from high or low blood pressure, insomnia, migraines or are currently pregnant, then you should always consult a doctor before attempting the position. If possible, always arrange to learn this position under the supervision of an experienced teacher.


Instructions for Dhanurasana
  • Lay flat on your stomach and chin firmly pressed against the floor
  • As you breathe out, bring your heels close to your buttocks by bending your knees at hip distance apart
  • Extended your arms in an inverted position in order to hold the outside of your ankles with both hands
  • While breathing out, begin to guide your heels towards the ceiling. Your thighs, head, chest and torso will all be begin to rise up off the mat
  • Maintain the position of your tailbone directly on the floor whilst you simultaneously lift your heels higher
  • In addition, contract your shoulder blades in your upper back (in the direction that draws them away from your ears)
  • Maintain this position for 30 seconds whilst you breathe slowly in a horizontal gaze
  • To dismount from this position, begin by gently exhaling. Slowly lower your arms and relax your ankle grip, to allow them to naturally lower to the floor
  • You can repeat the pose as many times as required. Remember to rest yourself after performing this asana. You can do this by placing your left earlobe to the ground and resting for a few minutes


Required Preparatory Poses


Follow-Up Poses Include:


Synonyms of Dhanurasana: Urdva Chakrasana
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