The name Dhanurasana comes from Sanskrit where “Dhanura” means “Bow” and “Pose” means “Asana”.
The body takes the shape of a Bow or a Dhanusha in the final position of Dhanurasana and hence the name Dhanurasana. In Dhanurasana, both the upper and lower halves of the body is raised at once giving it a shape which resembles an archer stringing his bow.
In Dhanurasana or Bow Pose, the arms and legs both are used to pull the trunk up together to form a curve which strengthens the spine, muscles of the back and improves your posture.
Dhanurasana is one of the best back stretching exercise.
Steps to Do Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
- To start practicing Dhanurasana or Bow Pose, lie on your stomach/abdomen with arms along the sides and keep your palms up.
- Relax in this position for a few breaths before starting to practice Dhanurasana.
- Inhale deeply and bend your legs backwards, reach back and get hold of both the ankles with the respective hands.
- Raise your torso and thighs while holding the ankles with hands.
- Your body is curved in the shape of a bow in this position.
- Look forward while being in this position and focus on a point.
- In this position, the whole body is resting on the abdomen.
- Maintain your breath while being in Dhanurasana or Bow Pose. Continue to take long and deep breaths while being in this position and try to relax in this final position of Dhanurasana.
- Do not overdo or stretch your body excessively. Bend and stretch only till your body permits.
- Be in this position for 15-20 breaths.
- While exhaling, lower your body and leave the ankles.
- Rest for a few breaths while lying on your stomach and hands in front of your head and chin resting on the ground.
- Initially, repeat Dhanurasana or Bow Pose 3-4 times for 15-20 breaths.
- Gradually, start practicing or start holding the posture for a few minutes with normal breathing.
Benefits of Doing Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
- Practicing Dhanurasana or Bow Pose strengthens the back and abdominal muscles.
- Dhanurasana is recommended for people with Diabetes as it helps in regulating the Pancreas.
- As the whole body is resting on the abdomen while practicing this asana, it helps reduces the abdominal fat and keeps the digestive system and reproductive system healthy.
- Dhanurasana is also said to increase the appetite.
- Dhanurasana or Bow Pose is also beneficial for women with reproductive disorders as it helps alleviate menstrual disorders.
- It is said to improve Blood circulation and increases the mobility of hips and shoulders.
- Dhanurasana increases the function of liver, pancreas, small intestine and large intestine. It is also said to cure constipation if practiced regularly.
- Dhanurasana is also said to cure respiratory disorders like Asthma.
- It is also said to cure back pain
- Dhanurasana or Bow Pose is also said to improve posture.
- It also helps in reducing the fatigue and keeps the individual active and energetic.
Precautions While Practicing Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
- People with severe back pain should avoid practicing Dhanurasana
- People who have had any abdominal surgeries should also avoid practicing Dhanurasana or Bow Pose.
- Pregnant females and females in periods should also not practice Dhanurasana.
- People with Headache, High blood pressure or migraine should also not practice Dhanurasana.
- People with Hernia or any neck injuries should also avoid doing this yoga pose.
Tips While Practicing Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
- While practicing Dhanurasana, make sure the distance or width between both knees should not be more than the width of your hips.
- With pressure on the abdomen, it’ll be difficult to breathe. Make sure you maintain a constant breath while practicing Dhanurasana.
- Do not bend or stretch beyond your limits. Go as far as your body permits you to.