Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Posted by huihsien on 13 Dec 09

Asanas are usually named after a specific object, animal or action that it appears to take after. With this in mind, it becomes easier to remember the structure of a particular pose. The name, ‘Dhanurasana’ or ‘Bow Pose’ came about because the pose looks similar to an archer’s bow. The torso and legs represent the body of the bow, while the arms are the string.

To come into the pose, start by lying on the abdomen with the legs bent towards the buttocks and hands gripped around the ankles. Upon inhalation, the heels are lifted away from the buttocks and the thighs off the mat.

At the same time, the arms, shoulders and chest are lifted away from the mat. Extend the spine forward and up to lift the front torso higher, instead of compressing into the arch of the lower back. Shoulders should be pressed down and away from the ears as the chest continues to open up. At this point, breathing might be slightly constricted. So do not forget to continue engaging in slow, complete inhalations and exhalations.

Parsva Dhanurasana is a variation to this pose. From Dhanurasana, the body is rolled to the right side transferring the weight to the right outer arm, hip and thighs. The intention is to strongly tug the left foot over to the right side without compromising the whole form of the Dhanurasana. After a few long breaths in this position, the same is repeated on the left side.

The Dhanurasana is a great pose to combat constipation, improve respiration, relieve mild back pain and sooth menstrual cramps. The rolling action in Parsva Dhanurasana also provides a good internal massage to the abdominal organs.

Archived in the category: Yoga Poses & Styles

One comment for “Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)”


[…] poses that focus on opening up this area, such as Ustrasana (Camel Pose), Matsyasana (Fish Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Navasana (Boat […]

March 3rd, 2010 at 4:19 pm

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