|Yoga Asana Guide|
Bow - Dhanurasana
Dhanurasana (Bow) is a backward
bending pose in which both halves of the body are raised off the
at the same time. Dhanurasana combines and enhances the benefits of both the Cobra and the Locust. The
three asanas are usually practiced together as a complete set of backward bending exercises.
In the Bow, all parts of the back are worked simultaneously, increasing strength and suppleness in the spine
and hips. While holding the pose, the arms are pulled by ankles; this helps to stretch the neck, leg, arm and
1. Lie on your abdomen with your forehead
on the floor. Open the knees slightly, bend
and hold of the ankles.
2. Inhale as you raise the head, chest and
thighs off the ground. Make sure that the
elbows are straight. Arch the body up as
much as possible. The entire weight of the
body is on the abdomen (thus this should
never be done by pregnant women). Bring
the knees in line with shoulders, looking
3. Keep breathing while you hold the pose for 10-30 seconds. Try to straighten the knees as much as possible, bringing the feet up away from the body.
4. Try to hold the position for at least 3 deep
breaths, increasing gradually. Take a deep
breath and exhale as you release the pose.
Repeat this 3-5 times.
• The Bow gives a full backward bend to the entire spine, producing great benefits from the cervical through
thoracic, lumbar and sacral regions. It gives the combined effect of the Cobra and the Locust. The back
muscles are well massaged, and rheumatism is alleviated.
• This asana is useful in aiding chronic constipation, dyspepsia, the sluggishness of the liver and gastro-
• The Bow is specially recommended for people with diabetes, as it helps to regulate the pancreas.
• The thoracic region is expanded, a boon to persons suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma.
• It helps hunchback, rheumatism of the legs, knee-joints and hands.
• The Bow gives a deep massage to the back muscles. Like Halasana (Plough), this keeps the spine elastic.
• He who does Halasana (Plough), Mayurasana (Peacock) and Dhanurasana (Bow) can never become lazy.
He will always be full of energy, vigor and vitality.
Pregnant women should never attempt
to do the Bow or any Bow variation, as this puts increased
pressure on the abdomen.