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Bow pose (Dhanurasana) steps, benefits and precautions

Dhanurasana or the Bow pose is one of the most well known yoga poses in the modern yoga practice. It is a back bending asana where you get a deep stretch. This yoga asana helps to open the chest and is very good for increasing body flexibility and toning up of legs, arms and back muscles.

Bow pose steps, benefits and precautions

Dhanurasana meaning

The name of Dhanurasana/Bow pose is derived from two sanskrit words.

  • ‘Dhanu’ meaning bow of an archer
  • ‘Asana’ meaning pose

It has the name because the practitioner’s body literally is bent like an archer’s bow when he is in this pose.

Bow pose (Dhanurasana) steps, benefits and precautions

How to do the bow pose?

Here is a step by step guide on how to the boat pose or Navasana.

Step one

Lie down on your stomach with your legs straight. Ensure that your feet are slightly apart. Place your arms on the sides. Your palm should be facing in the upward direction in this position.

Step two

Bend your knees and lift your hands to take a hold of your ankles. Slightly lift your lower belly from the ground while holding your ankles.

If you are a starting practitioner, you can use a yoga accessory like a yoga blanket or yoga towel for support.

Step three

Take a deep breath and as you are inhaling lift your chest from the ground. At the same time, pull your legs and bend your back.

If you are having trouble getting your body off ground, you can use a yoga strap or yoga belt for support as well.

Step four

Focus right in front of you and try to maintain the pose. Breath in your normal fashion and keep your whole body in a tightened position.

Take deep and long breaths and continue this pose for 20-30 seconds.

Step five

To release the pose, exhale and release your ankles and get back to the starting position in step one. Breath normally and relax.

The chances of hurting yourself are quite high in the initial stages of your practice. That is why you should try and ensure that you don’t overstretch yourself.

Benefits of the bow pose

  1. Dhanurasana provides a very deep backbend and opens up the shoulders and chest of the yoga practitioner.
  2. It helps in stimulating the reproductive system of the yogi
  3. The asana helps in providing strength to the abdominal muscles and the back muscles.
  4. It also reduces body fatigue and stress
  5. The Bow pose improves the overall flexibility of the body and tones legs, arms and back muscles.
  6. The Asana helps people with digestive issues like constipation also.

Precautions and contraindications

  1. This pose should be completely avoided by anyone with a neck or back injury since it puts a lot of strain on these body parts and can further aggravate the condition.
  2. If you are suffering issues like low or high blood pressure, you should avoid Dhanurasana.
  3. People with nagging upper or lower back pain should not practice Dhanurasana. It is better to take a medical professional’s advice to understand the underlying cause of such issues before practicing taxing poses like these.
  4. If you have issues like Hernia, it is not an advisable pose.
  5. Anyone with issues of migraine or frequent headaches should not do this asana.
  6. Not advisable for pregnant women.

Related yoga poses to the bow pose

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