Dhanurasana – The Bow




Dhanurasana, is done as the sequence of  Paschimottanasana. The main benefit of the bow is to give a full backward bend to the entire length of the spine, building both strength and flexibility in the back, bending the back in the opposite direction of the Paschimottanasana.  Like the other back-strengthening exercises, the resting posture before the bow is done by laying on the stomach instead of the back.


  • Increases strength and flexibility along the entire length of the spine
  • Stretches the neck, shoulders, arms and legs
  • Massages the digestive organs, relieving constipation
  • Improves digestion and the appetite by increasing the digestive fire
  • Helps regulate the pancreas and is recommended for people with diabetes
  • Expands the thoracic region of the chest
  • Stimulates manipura chakra
  • It strengthens all the three “naris” – Ira, Pingla and Sushumna.
  • The womb of the women becomes healthy. It cures leucorrhoea disease.
  • Improves concentration.



  • Before beginning the bow posture, lay on the stomach.
  • With your hands make a pillow under your head and rest one cheek on your hands.
  • The toes should touch together with the heels falling away from each other.
  • Feel the floor supporting the whole length of the body, relaxing into the floor as much as possible.
  • Rest your chin or forehead on the mat.
  • Bend your knees, grabbing ahold of your ankles with your hands.
  • If you are unable to reach your ankles with your hands, the teacher may be able to help you, or you can practice one side at a time until you increase your flexibility.
  • Inhale and lift your head and chest up off the mat. At the same time lift your knees as high as you can. Keep your elbows straight and try to arch your body as much as possible.
  • The weight of the body should be more on the abdomen than on the hips.
  • Hold the posture for 10-30 seconds, working up to one full minute or more. Be sure not to hold your breath while in the bow.
  • Exhale and with control release the legs back down to the floor.
  • Deeply relax all the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and back, if necessary spreading the knees slightly apart to become as comfortable as possible.
  • Come back to the resting posture on your back, savasana.


  • Do not practice dhanurasana if you are pregnant.
  • This asana should not be done by those suffering from hernia.



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