The Bow Pose is the English name for Dhanurasana. In the Sanskrit language, Dhanu refers to an archer’s bow, while Asana means Pose or Position. It’s pronounced as a “don-your-AHS-anna” Pose. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) is an intense and intermediate-level yoga posture included in the twelve basic Hatha Yoga exercises.
In short terms, it’s a backbend exercise that involves lying on the floor with your front touching the ground or a yoga mat.
It requires bending your torso backward in an upward direction, which opens up the chest and provides a deep stretch for your spine. After a long and hectic work schedule, performing this pose helps different back-related problems like stiffness, aches, and misalignment.
The Idea of The Bow Pose
Being a backbend exercise doesn't only provide relief to the back; it also stretches the entire body as a whole, including the quads, chest, and shoulders. You must always correctly warm-up with starter poses before performing the Bow Pose; it requires intense stretching in itself, so starting with this pose can cause strain or sprains in the spine.
Most yoga practitioners include this move in their routine of back-stretching exercises. Once you have vanquished this pose, you can graduate to more complicated and expert-level backbend yoga poses.
To maintain good balance, it’s recommended to use a non-slip yoga mat for this posture. If you’re a novice, make use of straps or towels to support your stretching better. Over time, with more practice, you should be able to perform it on your own.
Steps: How To Perform A Bow Pose
Lie straight on your yoga mat with your front-facing downwards; keep the hands in a parallel position to your body with your palms facing upwards. Take a deep breath and start bending your knees as you exhale; try to bring your heels towards your hips to the maximum level. The between both of your hip's bones and knees should be around the same. In other words, the hips and knees on the right side should be parallel to the left side.
In this stage, by lifting your hands, grab the ankles and make sure to hold them securely. Don’t use your thumb; firmly wrap your ankles by only making use of your four fingers. Keep your toes stretched with your legs facing the front direction.
During this step, inhale and start moving your heels apart from your hips. To stay balanced, don’t loosen the grip on your ankles. You should also be keeping the body’s core pressed towards the floor and rotating the shoulders, lifting your head, chest, and thighs upwards.
Increase the body’s stretch even more by pressing the tailbone towards the floor; while doing so, you will experience more stretch in the spine as your core is maintaining balance and bearing all the body’s weight. Your shoulders and chest will widen deeply during this step. While facing the front, hold this position for at least 15-20 seconds. Keep focused to remain balanced, and while taking deep breaths, try to stretch as much as you can.
In this final step, with an exhale, start reversing to the initial position. Lower your bent body back to the floor; relax for some time, and continue with the same or other yoga poses. Preparatory or warm-up poses for Bow Pose include Bhujangasana and Shalabhasana. As follow-up poses, you can upgrade to Chakrasana, Ustrasana, Matsyasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long is The Duration of Bow Pose?
About 15-20 seconds is considered the ideal time for performing this pose. Plus, it can help burn fat, so the time is worth it. Expect fat loss around the hips, belly, and thighs.
Who Should Avoid This Pose?
Pregnant women and people suffering from high blood pressure, migraines, headaches, hernias, and back injuries should avoid this pose. If you’ve had surgery in the abdominal area, it’s advisable to consult your doctor before performing this posture as well.
Can Bows Pose Help Increase My Height?
All stretching exercises contribute to height gain. However, if not performed under proper guidance, it can hurt your back, and it may result in causing pain or injuries. It depends on the cause of the back pain; in a few cases, it can help eliminate back pain and worsen the condition in other cases. Always consult a medical expert or yoga instructor if you are suffering from back pain.
Overall, this pose is an excellent exercise for strengthening the core and spinal muscles. It is considered one of the best shoulder, chest, and neck opening yoga poses. It increases flexibility, improves posture, and tones the muscles in the legs and arms.
It can also get rid of many common back issues like stiffness, pain, and misalignment.
Furthermore, it improves the functioning of the reproductive organs and is beneficial in fighting against stress and fatigue. It’s also known for bringing relief for painful menstrual disorders and constipation.