Bow Yoga Pose: (Dhanurasana)

Name: Bow Yoga Pose

Sanskrit: Dhanurasana

Pronunciation: Dah – don-your-AHS-anah

Pose Level:  Advanced Level yoga pose

bow yoga pose

Step-by-Step:

  • Lie on your yoga mat with your arms extended along your body. Then, bend your knees and bring your heels towards your buttocks. Firmly grasp the outside of your ankles with your hands.
  • From this position, stretch the leg muscles so to bring the feet and torso upwards, allowing the spine to naturally arch during the movement and the shoulders move away from the ground.
  • Keep your legs close together and keep raising your feet as high as possible so that the hips and lower abdomen are the only area of the body to maintain contact with the ground.
  • Finally, arch your head and shoulders back, bringing your chin upwards.
  • This is the final position. Keep the position stable until you can maintain a balance between effort and relaxation.
  • When you feel ready to finish the exercise, lower your heels again towards your buttocks and bring your legs and torso towards to the ground. Let go of your ankles and relax your body completely.

Anatomy:

  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Hips
  • Glutes
  • Arms
  • Neck

Pose Modifications:

Dhanurasana can also be performed in a more dynamic way: once the final position is reached, one can swing back and forth rhythmically in sync with the breath.

Related Article: What is the Meaning of Pranayama: Pranayama Breathing Techniques

This asana can also be divided into shorter phases, rather than in a single solution, especially for those who begin the practice and do not have flexibility in the spine and legs. In this case, hold the position for a short period of time, rest for a few seconds and then return to the position. Repeat this cycle at least three times.

Contraindications:

For those suffering from abdominal hernia or in the case of pregnant women, the practice of Dhanurasana is not recommended.  Anyone who suffers from ailments in the lower back, such as herniated or slipped vertebral discs, should practice this asana carefully or with medical clearance. Do not practice this asana on a full stomach or immediately after eating.

Related Article: The Enormous Benefits Of Having A Yoga Instructor As A Beginner Yogi

Poses Commonly Transitioned too:

Locust Pose, Upward-Facing Dog, Child pose, Boat Pose

Poses Commonly Transitioned From:

Locust Pose, Upward-Facing Dog, Cobra Pose