What is dhanurasana (bow pose)
Dhanurasana, also known as bow pose, is a yoga exercise that is credited for relieving stress and anxiety, among other benefits. Go to any yoga class and chances are your instructor will include it in your training regimen. It is easy to perform compared to some yoga asanas which require tremendous concentration. But do not be fooled by its simplicity, because it works in many ways to stretch your body and stimulate its various functions.
How to perform Dhanurasana
Start by lying flat on the floor, your chin touching the mat and your arms next to your body. Your feet are hip-width apart.
On an exhale bend your knees so that your feet come towards your butt, try to touch your buttocks with the heels.
Now stretch your arms back and try to grab your ankles. It’s easier to do this one at a time and rotate your body slightly.
Find your balance.
Wait for an inhale and bring your heels toward the ceiling as far as you can. Your head, chest and hips come off the floor. Don’t pull too hard with your arms and try to do this movement with the muscles in your back as much as possible!
Push your shoulders back and down to bring your chest forward even further.
Face straight ahead and focus on a stationary point about 10 meters away from you.
Hold this pose for about half a minute.
On an exhale, slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Start by lowering your thighs back to the floor, then release your ankles. Let your feet gently touch the floor.
Take a rest by lying down and place your right ear on the floor.
Repeat this exercise, now finish by lying with your left ear on the floor.
Thanks to the back bend, the back eventually becomes very flexible. Gradually you will experience this as regained vitality. The abdominal organs also receive a firm massage with bow pose. In addition, the muscle mass of the arms and legs will increase. All in all, dhanurasana can definitely be called an all-round yoga pose. A yoga posture that has many advantages and in bygone days has also acquired a place in the Gheranda-samhita thanks to the beneficial effect on body and mind.
Do not do this exercise if you suffer from headaches, you are pregnant or if you suffer from neck or back complaints. Listen carefully to your own body and don’t push yourself too far in this exercise. This is not an exercise for beginners and we recommend trying it under supervision for the first time.
This pose is for people who have more experience with yoga, if you are just starting out this exercise may still be too difficult for you and we recommend that you practice one of the easier exercises with a back stretch first.
You can make this exercise easier by putting a band around your ankles and gripping them instead of your ankles themselves, so you don’t have to bend as far.
To make this pose even more challenging, you can grab the ankles of your other foot (so with your left hand your right ankle, and your right hand your left ankle).