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«Dhanurasana», «Bow Position» (Dhanus-Asana). The «Bow» is the 8th Asana of the Basic Positions of the Yoga Vidya Series in Hatha Yoga.




«Dhanurasana» is a liberating and strongly opening Asana. «Dhanu» means «Bow». This is formed with the body by bending the back from the prone position and grasping each of the ankles with the hands. The legs are stretched in front by pulling the heels towards the buttocks or sky. The upper body and thighs lifts up. Thereby a deep and steady breathing is very important.



Table of Contents

1 Sukadev about Dhanurasana
2 Swami Sivananda about Dhanurasana

2.1 Method
2.2 Benefits

3 Announcement and entering in Dhanurasana

3.1 Exercise Video for the Bow, Dhanurasana — Practical Instructions
3.2 The Swing Bow
3.3 Variations

3.3.1 Akarshana Dhanurasana
3.3.2 Dhanurasana with pillows

4 Effects of Dhanurasana

4.1 Physically
4.2 Energetic
4.3 Addressed Chakras
4.4 Spiritually

5 Contraindications
6 Advanced Variation — Purana Dhanurasana



Sukadev about Dhanurasana



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Swami Sivananda about Dhanurasana


GarudasanaSwami Sivananda


When this Posture is carried out, it represents the appearance of a «Bow» (Dhanus). The elongated arms and the front legs form the string of the «Bow». It bends the spine backwards. It complements «Bhujangasana» («Cobra»). You could say it is the combination of «Bhujangasana» and «Salabhasana» with the extension of hold tight the ankles with your hands. «Bhujangasana», «Salabhasana» and «Dhanursana» form a useful combination. They always go together. They form a set of Asanas. This combination acts as a counter pose to «Halasana» and «Paschimottanasana», which bend the spine forward.




Lie face down on the rib cage. Relax all muscles. Keep your arms on your sides. Gently bend your legs back. Raise your hands back and grasp your ankles with your hands. Raise your chest and head. Stretch your chest. Keep your arms and front legs fairly stiff and straight. Now a good convex Bow is formed. If you stretch your legs, you can raise your chest. You should experiment with it skillfully. Hold your breath gently and exhale slowly. Practice this 5 or 6 times. You can hold this pose as long as it feels comfortable. Keep your knees closed.

The whole body rests on the abdomen. This Asana gives the abdominal region a good massage. You have to do this Asana when your stomach is empty. You can move the bow-shaped body from side to side, laterally or forward and backward. This ensures a really thorough massage of the abdomen. Swing, rock and enjoy yourself. Repeat OM, OM, OM inside.




This Asana is useful for chronic constipation, indigestion and sluggishness of the liver. It reduces a hump and crook, rheumatism of the legs, knee joints and hands. It reduces obesity, energizes digestion, increases digestive peristalsis, improves appetite, reduces blood congestion in the intestines and increases their resilience. «Dhanursana» is a boon for people suffering from gastro-intestinal complaints. Like «Halasana», it keeps the spine supple. It prevents premature calcification of the bones. The one who practices «Halasana», «Mayurasana» and «Dhanursana» can never become sluggish, but is full of energy, strength and vitality.



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Announcement and entering in Dhanurasana

➳Lie on your belly. Press the pubic bone into the floor. Bend your legs. Extend your right knee. Extend your left knee.

➳Raise the inner edges of the feet. Lower the outer edges of the feet to the floor.

➳Raise your head and torso and grab your ankles with your hands.

➳Push your pubic bone further into the floor. Push your shins and feet back and away from your head.

➳Raise your upper body higher. The knees continue to work towards each other. And your feet apart as you work your way up.

➳Pull your shoulder blades away from your head. Suck it in the back. Raise more your upper arms.

➳The tip of the tongue is on the palate. Push yourself even higher in this way.



Exercise Video for the Bow, Dhanurasana — Practical Instruction

Here Sukadev guides you to the Yoga Exercise «Bow» or «Dhanurasana» and shows you how you can optimally perform the «Bow».



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The Swing Bow

Perform the «Bow» then rock forward as you exhale, back as you inhale. Don't integrate your head into the rocking motion. Repeat 10 times, and then relax.




Akarshana Dhanurasana

This Position can be called «Dhanurasana». Sit on the floor. Spread your legs. Grasp your right toe with your left hand. Gently bend your leg and bring your toes up to your chin and your knees close to your left armpit. Now the thigh will almost touch your abdominal region. Grasp your left toe with your right hand and keep your elbow on your back as far behind as possible. This variation is more useful than the previous one.



Dhanurasana with pillows

One way is to practice «Dhanurasana» with lots of pillows on your back. To do this, a second person places a large number of pillows in the finished Asana. On the one hand, the «Bow» becomes more intense due to the load. The stretch can also be nicer. Through the contact on the back to the legs, the feeling for the «Purana Dhanurasana» described can be created.



Effects of Dhanurasana



➳«Dhanurasana» is good for the whole spine, from the cervical vertebrae to the thoracic, lumbar and sacral vertebrae. It combines the effects of the «Cobra» and the «Locust».

➳The back muscles are strengthened. The abdominal organs receive a good massage.

➳«Dhanurasana» helps clear constipation, cure stomach upset, rheumatism and gastrointestinal diseases. «Dhanurasana» reduces fat, stimulates digestion and releases congestion in the abdomen.

➳Stretched muscles: pectoralis (pectoral muscles), rectus abdomini (abdominal muscles), psoas (hip flexors), and quadriceps (leg extension).

➳Strengthened muscles: longissimus (back extensor), trapezius (hood muscle), quadriceps (leg extensor), forearm muscles, gluteus (buttock muscles).

➳«Dhanurasana» is helpful in releasing nerve energy from the neck and chest area, which improves breathing.

➳This Asana is helpful in the treatment of diabetes and menstrual disorders.




Activates the solar plexus

Addressed Chakras






Develops self-confidence. Raise the mind. Leads to a feeling of sublimity.




In pregnancy, the «Bow» is replaced by «Anjaneyasana» («Crescent Moon») or «Camel». After abdominal surgery, you should wait until the doctor gives his consent. People with lower back problems need to see if this Asana is right for them or better to replace it with another one.



Advanced Variation — Purana Dhanurasana



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