Dhanurasana gets its name from the Sanskrit words Dhanu, which means, a Bow and Asana, which means pose. It is one of the basic Hatha Yoga asanas, popularly known as the Bow Pose in English.

It is a backbend pose, in which, your body takes the shape of a bow. Regular practice of this asana opens your chest and stretches all the muscles of the body. It also strengthens the spine and improves flexibility.

Read on to know the correct way to do this asana along with some precautions and easy modifications to help you master this pose with ease.

  1. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) steps: Correct way to do Dhanurasana
  2. Benefits of Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  3. Easy Modifications of Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  4. Precautions to take before practising Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Steps to practice Dhanurasana are given below:

  • Lie flat on your stomach, with your arms placed beside your body and feet hip-width apart
  • Now, gently fold your knees, and try to place your ankles on your buttocks
  • Hold your ankles with your hands
  • Try to lift your thighs and chest off the ground, as high as possible
  • Now try to maintain this position for about 30-60 seconds
  • To get out of the posture, leave your ankles and lay straight again
  • Relax for some time 
  • Repeat 

Asanas to do before Dhanurasana

You can practice the following asanas as preparatory poses before the Bow Pose:

  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
  • Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Asanas to do after Dhanurasana

The following asanas can be done after Dhanurasana in order to relax your body:

  • Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
  • Wheel pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
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Regular practice of Dhanurasana has the following benefits for your health:

  • It stimulates your digestive system.
  • It helps to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles and increases the flexibility of your spine.
  • This asana helps to stimulate reproductive organs.
  • Dhanurasanaa may help you reduce belly and thigh fat.
  • It strengthens and tones your arms.
  • It widens your chest and opens up your legs, which can help reduce the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.
  • Dhanurasana aids in relieving constipation, back pain and problems related to the menstrual cycle.
  • It helps in proper development of breasts.  
  • It calms the mind and helps reduce stress and anxiety.
  • If you are a beginner, it might be a bit difficult to lift your thighs off the ground, in such a case, place a folded blanket under your thighs to support them. Do not force or push your body unnecessarily.
  • If you are not able to hold your ankles, tie a cloth around your ankles and hold the edges of the cloth until your body becomes flexible enough to adapt the final pose. 
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The following precautions should be taken before practising Dhanurasana:

  • Do not practice this asana if you have neck or lower back injuries.
  • Do not practice this asana if you have undergone any abdominal surgery recently.
  • Avoid this asana if you have problems like high blood pressure, ulcers, migraine, headache or hernia.
  • Do not practice this asana during pregnancy or menstruation.
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