Bow Pose in Yoga: 6 Steps for Beginners & Advanced

bow pose
Bow Pose

The Bow Pose, or Dhanurasana, represents the archer's bow, body curved in the shape of the bow, the arms connecting like the bow's string. The root of dhanurasana, dhanu, means "bow" in Sanskrit.

About Bow Pose

Practitioners believe that bow pose enables mental stimulation so much, regular practice will ensure energy and vitality.

Other benefits associated with bow pose include:

  • Helpful extension of the spine
  • Full stretch of the front of the body and the back
  • Expands the chest to help relieve respiratory problems.
  • Strengthens the abdomen.

If you have hernia or back problems, or are pregnant, do not perform bow pose.

Step into the Pose

To Perform Bow Pose

  1. Lie on your stomach, arms at your sides, palms up, legs hip-width apart.
  2. On an exhale, bend your knees, bringing the feet as close to the buttocks as possible.
  3. Reach back and take hold of your ankles.
  4. Inhale, and then, on an exhale, slowly draw the thighs up off the floor, arms straightened behind you.
  5. As you lift your legs, your torso will naturally expand, but keep the shoulder blades moving down into the back.
  6. Hold this pose with your head held up, following the natural curve of the spine, for about 20-to-30 seconds.

For more instructions on Bow Pose, visit Yoga Journal.


If you are not that flexible at first, use a bolster or a rolled up blanket under your thighs and chest to help you ease into the pose.

Remember, respect your body's accessibility to this pose. Focus on keeping the posture even by lifting the legs and torso gradually, a bit at a time, but never one or the other.

Never grasp the tops of the feet or bend the arms.


Continue to curve the body until your feet rest on the top of your head.

Bow Pose in Yoga: 6 Steps for Beginners & Advanced