What is Dhanurasana?

Before we talk about the steps of Dhanurasana and its benefits, it is important to know the meaning of this asana.

Dhanurasana 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.

Dhanurasana yoga pose finds a mention in the 19th-century texts. This asana is usually done before the Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) and the Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Yrdhva Mukha Svanasana). The asanas that follow Dhanurasana include the Fish Pose (Matsyasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasna) and Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana).

While doing yoga bow pose works on the muscles in your:

  • Upper, lower and middle back
  • Gluteus
  • Hamstrings
  • Biceps and triceps
  • Arms and shoulders
  • Core

How is Dhanurasana done?

To gain the benefits of the Dhanurasana yoga pose and prevent muscle strain and injuries, it is important to perfect its form.

Here is a detailed explanation of Dhanurasana steps:

  1. To begin the Dhanurasana pose, lie on your stomach keeping your feet apart.
  2. Your arms must be at the side of your body.
  3. Fold your knees slowly and take your hands backwards and grab your ankles.
  4. Take a deep breath in and lift your chest off the ground while pulling your legs towards the back.
  5. Keep your gaze ahead.
  6. Hold the pose for 15-20 seconds.
  7. To release the pose, exhale deeply and bring your legs and chest to the ground. 

Which are some variations of Dhanurasana?

Once you have mastered the Dhanurasana steps, you can progress to the many variations of this asana. Here are some of the variations that you can try:

  1. Akarna Dhanurasana: Also known as the Shooting Bow Pose, this is a great asana for strengthening your abdominal muscles. Follow these steps of Dhanurasana variation:
  • Sit on the floor while stretching your legs in the front. Keep your feet close to each other.
  • Bend forward slowly, stretch your arms, and hold your toes while keeping your torso erect.
  • Inhale deeply and lift your left leg.
  • Raise your left foot to your left ear.
  • Hold the other leg for stability.
  • Hold the pose for 10-15 seconds while breathing deeply.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  1. Standing bow pose: This is a challenging standing balance pose that improves your respiratory system and strengthens your core and thighs. Follow these Dhanurasana steps:
  • To do this standing bow pose, stand straight and extend one leg behind your body.
  • Hold its ankle with the same hand and arch your body like a bow.
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds and return to the starting position.

Why should you do Dhanurasana?

The bow pose has great benefits for your mind and body. Here are some good 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, IBS, etc.
  • One of the most important Dhanurasana benefits is that it strengthens your core. This not just makes doing daily activities simpler but also enhances your workout performance. 
  • One of the bow pose benefits is that 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.
  • One of the most important bow pose benefits is that it improves your circulation, which keeps you healthy and improves your immunity.
  • Dhanurasana steps and benefits help alleviate your stress and anxiety levels. Regularly practising this asana trains your brain to respond better to triggers of stress.
  • One of the best benefits of Dhanurasana for beginners is that this asana doesn’t require an elaborate set-up and is easy to include in your home workouts. 
  • One of the best health benefits of Dhanurasana is that it opens up your chest muscles and improves circulation. This prevents the risk of cardiovascular problems. 
  • One of the most important benefits of bow pose yoga is that stimulates and strengthens your chest muscles. This prevents respiratory problems such as asthma and COPD.  
  • An important health benefit of Dhanurasana is that it helps prevent kidney problems. 

How to perform Dhanurasana safely?

You need to be mindful of your form to gain the benefits of bow pose yoga. here are some things to keep in mind:

  • To gain Dhanurasana benefits, it is important to do this at least 3-4 hours after your meal.
  • Always do bow pose after warming up your muscles. 
  • Hold Dhanurasana pose only for as long as your body permits. Never overstretch yourself. 
  • While performing the Dhanurasana yoga pose, bend your back as much as you can. 
  • If you are unable to hold your ankles, use a strap to do that. This is especially important while doing the bow pose for beginners.
  • Never start doing bow pose for beginners without learning its technique from an experienced trainer or by joining an online yoga class. This helps prevent injuries. 
  • Don’t practice Dhanurasana yoga if you are pregnant.
  • You should not to the 
  • Yoga bow pose must not be performed if you have had surgery recently.
  • Don’t do this pose if you have suffered from a recent injury and are yet to heal. 
  • Avoid doing Dhanurasana if you suffer from high or low blood pressure. 


To gain Dhanurasana yoga benefits, it is important to keep yourself challenged. You can do this by doing its variations such as Urdhva Dhanurasana, Dvapada Dhanurasana, and the likes. This also helps in preventing plateaus and keeping you engaged. 

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February 4, 2022

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