Dhanurasana | Bow Pose | How to do Bow Yoga Pose


bow pose

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) is a deep back-bending pose of hatha yoga that makes your body take the shape of a bow. Also known as the Bow Pose, it gets its name from Sanskrit words 'dhanur' meaning bow and 'asana' meaning posture. Like any other backbend, Bow Pose energizes and revives the adrenal glands that sit above each kidney. This powerful yoga stance works simultaneously on all muscle groups of your back, chest, and abdomen.



  • lie on your belly, with your hands by your side, palms facing up
  • bend your knees and take hold of your ankles with your hands
  • press your pubic bone down, draw your lower belly in and up
  • on an inhalation, press your ankles in your hands, lifting your chest and thighs
  • slide your shoulder blades down and towards each other to open your chest
  • stay for a few breaths, breathing into your chest and ribs
  • on an exhalation, release your ankles, and gently lie down on your belly for a few breaths

  • place a folded blanket under your pelvis to avoid your hip bones pressing into the floor
  • try using a strap around your ankles if you have trouble lifting from the ground
  • try the pose in stages by only lifting your chest up, leaving your thighs and knees on the floor
  • make sure you have warmed up your spine before trying this pose - use lower backbends such as cobra and locust first


Regular practice steadily and comfortably within a balanced yoga asana program 

Like all backbends, bow pose is energizing and stimulates the adrenal glands, which can help you fight fatigue. It also increases blood flow to your digestive system. it may help to build confidence and empowerment. Bow pose also improves posture and conteracts the effects of sitting for extended periods of time, such as slouching and kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine). It may help relieve back pain. It stretches your abdomen, chest, shoulders, front of your hips (hip flexors), and the front of your thighs (quadriceps). Bow pose strengthens your back muscles, the back of your thighs, and buttocks (glutes).

  • don't let your knees spread wider than hip-width apart
  • drop your chin towards your chest if you feel tension in the neck
  • avoid in case of high/low blood pressure, headaches and back injuries
  • avoid this pose if you are pregnant

  • Beginners : 10 - 20 seconds
  • Intermediate : 20 - 40 seconds
  • Advanced: 40 seconds - 1 minute

  • to deepen this pose, keep your knees and feet closer together, or take hold of the inside of the ankles for an extra stretch on the shoulders and upper back
  • use your back and abdominal muscles to rock forwards and backwards in this pose. you may need to place a folded blanket under your hips for extra padding
  • practice one-sided versions of bow pose by extending the right leg back, resting on your right forearm while taking the left ankle with the left hand
  • you can also practice bow pose lying on your side


The bow pose has great benefits for your mind and body. Here are some reasons why you should include it in your yoga practice and gain Dhanurasana Yoga benefits
  • dhanurasana yoga pose stimulates your digestive organs. this prevents gastrointestinal disorders such as flatulence, bloat, constipation, etc.,
  • it improves the flexibility of your spine. this prevents conditions such as herniated disc, slip disc and the likes
  • dhanurasana yoga pose is an excellent yoga pose for people who lead sedentary lives and experience frequent back problems. it activates and strengthens your lower back muscles and prevents pain, stiffness and tension
  • it is amongst the best yoga stretching exercises that activate your abdominal muscles. this helps in stimulating the reproductive problems and in preventing their disorders
  • this is a great pose of yoga for strength, especially for your upper back. this in turn helps improve your agility and mobility
  • dhanurasana helps alleviate your stress and anxiety levels. regularly practising this asana trains your brain to respond better to triggers of stress
  • bow yoga pose is stimulates and strengthens your chest muslces. this prevents respiratory problems such as asthma and COPD

cow pose yoga

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