Dhanurasana or the Bow Pose is the basic Hatha Yoga poses. It is also one of the three main back stretching exercises. It gives the entire back a good stretch, thus imparting flexibility as well as strength to the back.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
Do not practice this pose if you are currently experiencing high or low blood pressure, migraines, or insomnia. Also avoid this pose if you are pregnant, or if you have a low-back or neck injury. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
How To Do The Dhanurasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Lie on your belly with your hands alongside your torso, palms up. Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your heels as close as you can to your buttocks.
2. Reach back with your hands and take hold of your ankles (but not the tops of the feet). Make sure your knees aren’t wider than the width of your hips, and keep your knees hip width for the duration of the pose.
3. Inhale and strongly lift your heels away from your buttocks and, at the same time, lift your thighs away from the floor. This will have the effect of pulling your upper torso and head off the floor.
4. Burrow the tailbone down toward the floor, and keep your back muscles soft.
5. As you continue lifting the heels and thighs higher, press your shoulder blades firmly against your back to open your heart. Draw the tops of the shoulders away from your ears. Gaze forward.
6. With the belly pressed against the floor, breathing will be difficult. Breathe more into the back of your torso, and be sure not to stop breathing.
7. Stay in this pose anywhere from 20 to 30 seconds. Release as you exhale, and lie quietly for a few breaths. You can repeat the pose once or twice more.
Bow Pose will energize and stretch the whole body when practiced correctly. Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:
- Place a firm blanket beneath your hip bones for extra padding, if needed.
- Hold onto your ankles, not the tops of your feet. This will help to prevent ankle, knee, and other leg injuries.
- Keep your knees hip-width or closer together for the duration of the pose. Do not let your knees splay wider than your hips; doing so can compress and compromise your low back.
- Evenly distribute the backbend across your upper, middle, and lower back.
- Keep breathing throughout the pose. Do not hold your breath.
Sometimes beginners find it difficult to lift their thighs away from the floor. You can give your legs a little upward boost by lying with your thighs supported on a rolled-up blanket.
Modifications & Variations
If it isn’t possible for you to hold your ankles directly, wrap a strap around the fronts of your ankles and hold the free ends of the strap, keeping your arms fully extended. You can increase the challenge of Dhanurasana by performing the pose with your thighs, calves, and inner feet touching.
Benefits Of Baddha Dhanurasana
These are some amazing benefits of Bow Pose.
- It helps to strengthen the back as well as the abdominal muscles.
- This asana helps to stimulate the reproductive organs.
- Practicing this asana helps to widen and open up the neck, chest, and shoulders.
- The legs and arm muscles are toned.
- It adds flexibility to the back.
- This asana is a great stress buster.
- Menstrual discomfort is relieved with regular practice.
- This asana also helps people with renal disorders.
Now that you know how to do bow pose, what are you waiting for? The Dhanurasana is an iconic yoga pose that is extremely beneficial to your back. You must make it a practice to practice this pose!