Dhanurasana (Sanskrit: धनुरासन; IAST: Dhanurāsana), Bow Pose, or sometimes Urdva Chakrasana (Upward Wheel Pose), is an asana in yoga.
The name comes from the Sanskrit words Dhanura (धनुर, Dhanura) meaning “bow”, and Asana (आसन, Āsana) meaning “posture” or “seat”.
The Bow or Dhanurasana raises both halves of the body at once, combining the movements of the Cobra and Locust, and countering the Plough and the Forward Bend. Like an archer stringing a bow, you use your hands and arms to pull your trunk and legs up together to form a curve. This tones your back muscles and maintains the elasticity of your spine, improving posture and increasing vitality. Balancing the weight of the body on your abdomen also reduces abdominal fat and keeps the digestive and reproductive systems healthy. The Rocking Bow, in particular, gives your internal organs a powerful massage. Initially, you will find it easier to lift your knees with legs apart; more advanced students should aim to perform the Bow with legs together.
1. Lie down on your front, head down. Inhale and bend your knees up, then reach back with your hands and clasp hold of your ankles. Exhale.
2. Lie down on your front, head down. Inhale and bend your knees up, then reach back with your hands and clasp hold of your ankles. Exhale.
3. The Rocking Bow : Come into the Bow, then rock forward as you exhale, backward as you inhale. (Don’t use your head to rock.) Repeat up to ten times, then relax.
There is one more posture known as “Akarshana Dhanurasana” because while practicing it, the heels and hips are raised.
- 1. Sit erect.
- 2. Stretch out the legs and keep them close together.
- 3. Place the palms on the floor at the sides.
- 4. Bend the right leg at the knee and crossing the left leg, place the right heel on the ground beside the left ankle.
- 5. Grasp the right big toe with the thumb, index and middle fingers of the left hand and the left big toe with the right thumb, index and middle fingers.
- 6. Inhaling and keeping the head erect, pull up the right foot till the right knee comes near the right armpit and the right big toe touches the left ear. While doing this, the right hand should pull the big toe of the left leg. While pulling the toes, fix your gaze on the big toe of the stretched left leg.
- 7. Exhaling, bring back the right foot to the floor on the left side of the outstretched left leg. Release the hands and stretch the legs straight again side by side.
- 8. Practice reversing the position of the legs.
Variation: Stretch out the legs. Pull the big toes straight towards the ears on the same side of the body, one after the other.
Benefits: The arms, shoulders, chest, waist, back, thighs and calves come into play in Akarshana Dhanurasana, and they become well developed, well proportioned and strong.