Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) Steps, Health Benefits and Precautions


Dhanurasana consists of two words: Dhanu means ‘bow’, and Asana indicates a Yoga pose. Thus, the name is ‘the Bow Pose’ because, in the final position, the body resembles a bow. In this pose, the abdomen and thigh represent the wooden part of the bow, whereas the legs, lower parts, and arms mean the bowstring. This is all about the definition of Dhanurasana. This is one of the essential Yogic postures, known for many health benefits and advantages such as weight loss, strengthening the lower back, treating asthma, making your entire spine flexible and supple, and so on. One can get the finest description of Bow Pose from Gherand Samhita: While lying on the ground, stretch your legs as straight as sticks. Catch hold of your feet with your hands behind the back. Adjust your body so that it takes the shape of a bow. Roll to and fro. This is Dhanurasana, according to Yogis. (Verse 1:19)


How to do Bow Pose Yoga

How to perform Dhanurasana is a straightforward procedure. The different techniques and steps of doing the Bow pose are given below:   

Steps for Dhanurasana

  • First of all, lie down in a prone position
  • Exhale, bend your knees and hold the ankles with your hands
  • While inhaling, raise the thighs, head, and chest as high as possible
  • Try to maintain the weight of the body on the lower abdomen. Join the ankles. Look upward and breathe normally.
  • While exhaling, bring down the head and legs up to the knee joint. Maintain this position as long as you can hold and slowly come back to the original position.

Health benefits of Bow pose

Bow pose is one of the few yoga poses which comprises the benefits of two different asanas, i.e. Bhujangasna and Shalabhasana. The following essential advantages of Dhanurasana are as follows:

  • Bow pose for weight loss: Dhanurasana stretches the abdomen and abdominal sides maximum. Regular practice of this asana helps to shed and burn fat in the above-said regions of the body. It also provides an overall toned shape to the entire body.
  • Good for lethargy: Bow pose is beneficial for overcoming inertia. It works directly on the solar plexus, a large sympathetic nervous centre in the navel region. These nerves facilitate better efficiency, improving vital organ functioning such as digestive, elimination, and reproductive.
  • Massage Liver: It ensures the proper functioning of entire abdominal organs. It massages the liver, which in turn aids digestion.
  • Treats diabetes: The pancreas gets appropriate toning by performing Dhanurasana. It stimulates further secretion of the correct amount of glucagon and insulin that helps balance sugar in the blood. Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 will benefit from practising this important yoga posture.
  • Blood cleansing: It helps flush blood to the entire body and various organs. Therefore, to a greater extent, it works as a cleansing process.
  • Kidney health: By performing the bow pose, the kidneys work more efficiently, which leads to better fluid balance in the body.
  • Strengthens spinal columns: Dhanurasana refreshes and rejuvenates the spinal column. It relieves stiffness, and the spine is more supple and healthy because the ligaments, muscles, and nerves are given a good stretch. This asana brings back elasticity to the spines and tones the abdominal organs.
  • Good for the heart: It massages nature. The diaphragm does this, pushed towards the heart by the extra pressure in the abdomen.
  • Cures asthma: It is one of the best yoga poses for removing the hunching tendency of asthmatics, which aggravates ill health. Dhanurasana realigns the back, thereby improving the breathing processes. This, in turn, leads to the free flow of air through the nasal passages.
  • Massage thyroid and adrenal glands: The secretion of the adrenal glands is regularised. Blood is flushed through the glands. These effects quickly remove tiredness, for cortisone is secreted to give you the required lift, or if you are overactive, the secretion of cortisone is reduced so that the body attains balance.
  • Cures back pain: The ligaments, muscles, and nerves in the back are given good stretch, and the spinal column is rejuvenated. It is beneficial for treating back pain.
  • Treats slipped discs: The persons experiencing slipped discs have obtained relief from the regular practice of Dhanurasana and Shalabhasana.
  • Strengthens shoulders: Bow pose strengthens your shoulders, arms, neck, abdomen, back, thighs & hamstring muscles.
  • Locate navel: It sets the dislocated navel right, which could cause pain in the stomach and legs, loose motions, or constipation.
  • Sexual arousal: It helps to invigorate the sexual vigour of the person.

Bow Pose tips

While performing the Bow pose, try to use the leg muscles only and let the back be passively bent backwards. With regular practice, it will become easier.

  • Make sure that your hands clasp around the region of the ankles, not the feet.
  • Keep the feet together so the big toes remain in contact throughout the practice.
  • Resting the body’s weight on the ribs instead of the soft part of the abdomen in the final pose. Adjust the balance of your body so that the belly lies in contact with the floor.
  • Bending the arms. Keep the arms straight throughout the entire practice.

Bow pose precautions

  • People who suffer from heart problems should avoid it.
  • Patients with high blood pressure should skip it.
  • A person suffering from a hernia, peptic or duodenal ulcer, appendicitis, colitis, and other abdominal ailments should not do this asana.
  • People suffering from a hernia, peptic or duodenal ulcer, appendicitis, colitis, or high blood pressure should consult a Yoga expert before practising this asana.
  • Don’t practice Bow pose just after a meal? There should be a gap of at least 3 hours.
  • It is recommended not to do Dhanurasna immediately before bed at night as this Asana stimulates the adrenal glands and the sympathetic nervous centre in the navel, which may lead to sleep problems.
  • Pull your chest and thighs equally up & do not bend your elbows.
  • Keep the width of your knees strictly according to the width of your shoulders.
  • Persons with swayback or severe backache/sciatica must consult a good Yogi before attempting this pose.

Bow pose variations

Parsva Dhanurasana

Parsva means sideways, where one performs the posture lying on one side.


  • First perform dhanurasana
  • Now, exhale, roll to the right side, and stretch the legs and chest.
  • Inhale, come to the original bow pose, exhale, and roll over to the left.
  • Stay on either side for the same duration of time


It massages the abdominal organs by pressing them against the floor.

Bow pose sequence

Dhanurasana is ideally practised after Bhujangasna and Shalabhasana, respectively. It should be followed by a forward-bending asana as a counterpoise.

Breathing in Bow Pose

Initially, one has to exhale. Now, inhale deeply while raising your body. While maintaining the pose, continue slow inhaling and exhaling. While coming to the starting position, one has to exhale deeply.


7 thoughts on “Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) Steps, Health Benefits and Precautions”

  1. Hi,
    Fantastic work was done by you. I love the ways you have mention “Health benefits of Bow pose”.
    Keep up doing great work!
    Cheers, Rashmi.

  2. I am having shoulder pain back pain amblical hernia and knee pain what can I do is there any acupressure points to reduce all problems?


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