An Easy Guide to Dhanurasana, or Bow Pose

Dhanurasana, or Bow Pose, strengthens your back, as well as opening your shoulders and chest, and stabilising your legs. It also stimulates digestion and improves the energy flow in your internal organs - helping you feel rejuvenated.

Bow Pose Lake

Dhanurasana is a beginners' or mid-level backbend that can be made more intense to suit. 

It's a great chest and heart opener - wherever you're at. 

The only downside of this yoga pose is that it can be hard to breathe, but hey - maintaining a steady breath in a challenging situation is a great life skill.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 


How to do Dhanurasana, or Bow Pose, in easy steps 

Step 1:

Begin by lying on the floor face down with your legs behind you and your arms by your sides.

Step 2:

On an exhalation, bend the knees, keeping the thighs on the floor, then take hold of your ankles..

Step 3:

Exhale entirely and pull the legs up and forward, raising the thighs from the floor and keeping the knees hip width, but no wider. Lift the chest at the same time.

Step 4:

Now lift the head out of the shoulders and gaze up - everything up. Only the abdomen, not the chest or the hips, should be bearing your weight.

Step 5:

Once you have assumed the position, bring the ankles, knees and thighs together.

Step 6:

Hold this pose for 5 to 10 breaths, breathing normally.

Step 7:

Exhaling, let go of the ankles, extend the legs behind you and bring the legs and head to the floor.

Bow Pose Beach

Yoga pose category:  Lying face down

Level: 1

You should be able to feel a deep stretch in the front torso during the Dhanurasana, however, if you feel any pressure in the low back, be sure to lower the pose, so that your back is less arched, until you feel comfortable.  

 Don’t forget, everyone starts somewhere – so always take things slowly and at your own pace. 


Sanskrit words meaning: 

Dhanu – bow 

Asana - pose 

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Dhanurasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions: 





Back pain 



Round shoulders

Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Dhanurasana if you have any of the following health conditions: 

High blood pressure 

Low blood pressure 



Back injury 



Sign up to our newsletter to receive 10% off your first order, events & exclusive subscriber only offers here

Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.