How To Do The Dhanurasana And What Are Its Benefits

Written by Shirin Mehdi

Sanskrit: धनुरासन; Dhanur – Bow, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As dah-noo-rah-sah-nah

Dhanurasana or the Bow Pose is one of the 12 basic Hatha Yoga poses. It is also one of the three main back stretching exercises. It gives the entire back a good stretch, thus imparting flexibility as well as strength to the back.

Everything You Need To Know About The Dhanurasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do This Asana
  2. How To Do The Dhanurasana
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tips
  5. Advanced Pose Variations
  6. The Benefits Of The Bow Pose
  7. The Science Behind The Dhanurasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do This Asana

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested, and there is enough energy for you to expand during the practice.

It is best to practice yoga first thing in the morning. But in the event you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.

Level: Basic
Style: Vinyasa
Duration: 15 to 20 seconds
Repetition: None
Stretches: Abdomen, Thorax, Thighs, Ankles, Groin, Psoas major muscle, Throat, Front of the body
Strengthens: Back

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How To Do The Dhanurasana

  1. Lie flat on your stomach, keeping your feet hip-width apart and your arms beside your body.
  1. Now, gently fold your knees and hold your ankles.
  1. Inhale, and lift your chest and legs off the ground. Pull your legs back.
  1. Look straight and keep your face stress-free. A smile should help.
  1. Hold the pose as you concentrate on breathing. Your body should be as taut as a bow.
  1. As you get comfortable in the pose, breathe long and deep.
  1. About 15-20 seconds later, exhale and release the pose.


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Precautions And Contraindications

These are some points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana.

  1. This asana should not be practiced if you suffer from a hernia, high or low blood pressure, pain in the lower back, migraines, headaches, neck injuries, or if you have had an abdominal surgery recently.
  1. Women should avoid this asana during pregnancy.

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Beginner’s Tips

When you start off, as a beginner, it might be difficult to lift your thighs off the floor. You can roll up a blanket and place it beneath your thighs to give them support to pull up.

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Advanced Pose Variations

Image: Instagram

To deepen the pose, you could try the Parsva Dhanurasana. For this, once you assume the pose, you must exhale and dunk a shoulder on one side to the floor. Then, tug the foot on the opposite side towards the foot on the same side, and roll over on that side. You can hold your ankles with your arms in the same stance as the Dhanurasana. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat the asana on the other side. This asana gives your abdominal organs a good stretch.

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The Benefits Of The Bow Pose

These are some amazing benefits of Bow Pose.

  1. It helps to strengthen the back as well as the abdominal muscles.
  1. This asana helps to stimulate the reproductive organs.
  1. Practicing this asana helps to widen and open up the neck, chest, and shoulders.
  1. The legs and arm muscles are toned.
  1. It adds flexibility to the back.
  1. This asana is a great stress buster.
  1. Menstrual discomfort is relieved with regular practice.
  1. This asana also helps people with renal disorders.

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The Science Behind The Dhanurasana

Both ancient yoga and modern science affirm that the spinal cord is not only the most subtle but also the most important part of the body. Most asanas involve the spinal column to enrich the root of our tree of life. The spinal column is the key to developing the spine. This asana mainly focuses on the spinal column, and when done with full intent, it strengthens and flexes the back. Relax, yet stay aware of the stretch in your body. But do not strain. Listen to your body.

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Preparatory Poses

Supta Virasana
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Setu Bandhasana

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Follow-Up Poses

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Urdhva Dhanurasana
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

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Now that you know how to do bow pose, what are you waiting for? The Dhanurasana is an iconic yoga pose that is extremely beneficial to your back. You must make it a practice to practice this pose!

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A jack of many trades and a master of some, Shirin is a writer, a fashion designer, and a chef by her own acclaim. She loves food, and though she might want to call herself a great cook, she just falls short of seasoning. She also loves Yoga, and has extensive knowledge about the postures of the asanas. Always muddled up between traditions and modernism, she thinks she would have been a better fit in the vintage era. She loves life and believes in living it up to the fullest.