Dhanurvakrasana (the bow pose)

Dhanurvakrasana; the bow pose

The final position of the Asana resembles a bow or dhanusha, hence the name. The flexible sturdiness and capacity to stretch the chord is the quality which is experienced by the spine and body with the performance and practice of the Asana. The mark of true strength lies in a zealous yet sensitive approach towards achieving a goal.

Starting position:

Lie on the stomach (prone position), on a mat, legs drawn straight and feet together-toes pointing outwards. Slowly, raise the head and the neck a few inches and simultaneously bend the legs at the knees. Grasp the ankles of the legs with the respective hands.

The Sequence of steps for Dhanurvakrasana; the bow pose :

  1. Inhaling, in 3 seconds, raise the head upwards, arching the spine.
  2. Simultaneously, pull the legs also upwards to give the body a bow shape.
  3. Maintain this pose for 6 seconds; breath retained (final position).
  4. Reverting to starting position: Exhaling, in 3 seconds, bring the head down and simultaneously, release the ankles and unfold the legs, to assume the starting position (C1). Care needs to be exercised in relieving the spinal pressure by stages. Accordingly, the coccygeal and sacral curves are relieved first by simultaneous and slow lowering of the trunk until gradually the upper portions, i.e., the lumbar, thoracic and cervical curves are completely relieved by stages.

Recommended practice:

Practice 3 rounds/session, with pause in-between rounds. The static pose may be tried after mastering the dynamic variation. Hold the final position for a maximum of 2 minutes (start with 30 seconds)–breathing should be normal, slow and rhythmic.


Hernia, hyper tension, heart ailments, pregnancy, peptic ulcers, serious spinal aliments and osteo-arthritis. People with a protruding belly will have difficulty in assuming a prone position.

Benefits of Dhanurvakrasana (the bow pose):

  1. Extraordinary pressure on abdominal area as entire body is balancing on umbilical region.
  2. Extreme stretches to abdominal and pelvic muscles.
  3. Improved blood circulation in general; particularly in the abdominal and reproductive organs.
  4. Strengthens muscles of lower extremities, especially thighs.
  5. Stretches the intercostal muscles and hence improves respiration.
  6. Prevents diseases by aiding elimination through intra- abdominal pressure.
  7. Relief from flatulence and indigestion.
  8. Relief in generalized muscular back pain
  9. Help in resolving slipped disc
  10. Relief in Ankylosing Spondylitis
  11. Alleviates constipation and helps in menstrual disorders.
  12. Strengthens the will power by increasing determination and alertness towards precision in functioning.

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