Take your fitness game to a whole new level by incorporating yoga into your workout routine. Not only does yoga rejuvenate the body, it also boosts mental health, and leaves you feeling energized and ready to take on the day’s responsibilities.
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
A position that is practiced on your tummy, Bow Pose is an extremely beneficial pose that strengthens the back muscles and puts your abs to work. Bow pose or Dhanurasana shapes your body to look like an archer’s bow, hence giving this pose the apt name.
Bow Pose Directions:
The following steps will help you perform the bow pose and keep your back and ab muscles engaged.
Lie flat on your stomach with your legs hip-width distance apart and fully stretched out in front of you.
Your arms can be placed either in front of you or by your sides and inhale deeply. As you exhale, bend your legs at the knees and extend your arms back to hold your ankles.
As you inhale, raise your head and neck upwards to face the ceiling and simultaneously raise your legs upwards by kicking them away from your body.
Your chest will be raised off the ground and your shoulder blades should be down and drawn in towards each other while you pull your ankles up and into your hands to “string the bow.”
Keeping the thighs engaged, exhale to press your legs and ankles into your hands. Hold the pose for 10 seconds and exhale to return to the starting position. Repeat this Asana at least three times.
Bow Pose Variations:
No pose should cause pain or discomfort during practice. Variations and modifications are here to help you perform the different Asanas with comfort and ease as well as layer up if you are looking for more of a challenge during your yoga routine.
If you are unable to grab onto your ankles, you have the option to use a strap to make this pose more comfortable for you to perform.
Tie the strap around the ankles for you to hold the ends of as you extend your arms to perform the pose.
Looking for a deeper bend? Layer up and challenge yourself by practicing this Asana with your thighs, calves and the inner soles of your feet touching.
Benefits of Bow Pose:
Bow pose is a deep backbend that works the entire back muscles, which leads to improved posture and reduced stress.
Some of the added benefits of bow pose include the following:
- Stretches the quadriceps
- Promotes strength and flexibility in the back muscles
- Improves posture
- Strengthens shoulders
- Stimulates the abdominal region
- Regulates body functions
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Focuses on breathing
- Improves blood circulation
Bow Pose Precautions:
While bow pose comes with many benefits to the mind and body, it is important to listen to your body and consult your doctor to make sure this pose is right for you if you suffer from any chronic conditions or are recovering from any injuries.
It is best to avoid practicing this pose if you suffer from the following:
- Abdominal inflammation
- Cardiac problems
- Osteoarthritis of the knees
Bow Pose Follow-Up Poses:
After practicing the bow pose, there are a few follow-ups poses one can take during their routine.
Follow-up poses include:
- Fish pose (Matsyasana)
- Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- Camel pose (Utrasana)
1. How can one practice the bow pose?
By following the steps mentioned in the article, one can learn how to perform the bow pose. There are a few variations and modifications you can take to add challenge to your practice or to add more comfort while performing the pose.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 06/03/2018
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Courtesy The Yoga Institute, Santacruz (E), Mumbai