Bow Pose

Bow Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) yoga posture has been named after the shape it takes – that of a bow. Dhanurasana is part of the lying down on the tummy category and is also part of the Backbend series. This powerful pose which looks like a Bow works on all the parts of your back simultaneously. The balancing of the entire body on the lower abdomen makes the body look like a powerful and strong bow. This beautiful pose brings all the stretch that is need to the entire back and works wonders on the abdominal muscles. Learn more about this yoga pose below.

Bow Pose is considered a base pose as bow pose variations can be derived from this pose.Bow Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start by lying flat on your stomach with the arms alongside the body, legs extended straight out in back of you and the chin on the earth.
Step 2
On an exhale, bend the knees and bring your heels as close as you can to your butt. The knees should not be any wider than hip distance apart.
Step 3
Reach back and grab hold of your outer ankles. The fingers are facing outwards and the thumbs are on the inner ankles.
Step 4
On an inhale, flex the feet with the heels pressing up towards the sky. Lift the thighs up and off the earth.
Step 5
Press the shins towards the back of the room which will simultaneously lift the head, chest and upper body of the ground. Keep pressing everything up towards the sky.
Step 6
Bring the shoulder blades together as you draw the shoulder away from the ears.
Step 7
Soften the gaze directly in front of you. Ensure your breath is still deep and even flowing. Keep drawing your legs up and back and rolling your inner thighs towards the sky.
Step 8
To release, exhale to slowly place your thighs back on the ground. Then gently release your legs and feet on the earth. Place the right ear on the mat and bring your arms alongside the body. Repeat and then place the left ear on the mat.

Benefits and Contraindications


Stretches the entire front of the body, ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen and chest, and throat, and deep hip flexors (psoas)

Strengthens the back muscle

sImproves posture

Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck


High or low blood pressure



Serious lower-back or neck injury

Photo poses in different angles


  • Place a folded blanket under your pelvis to avoid your hip bones pressing into the floor
  • Try using a strap around your ankles if you have trouble lifting from the ground
  • Try the pose in stages by only lifting your chest up, leaving your thighs and knees on the floor
  • Make sure you have warmed up your spine before trying this pose – use lower backbends such as Cobra and Locust first.
Modifications & Variations
  • Bow Pose Rocking Variation
  • Both Hand One Legged Big Toe Bow Pose
  • Hidden Lotus Pose Hands Hips Aerial
  • Easy Bow Pose Hips Floor Hands Aerial
  • One Legged Bow Pose Preparation With Strap
  • Big Toe Bow Pose B
  • Supported Bow Pose Chair Pose Partner
  • Half Bow Pose
  • One Legged Bow Pose Preparation Knees On Floor
  • Bow Pose Bolster Elbows On Floor
  • Bow Pose Strap
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Locust Pose
  • Cobra Pose
  • One Legged Bow Pose Preparation Knees On Floor
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Child Pose
  • Bridge Pose
  • Crocodile Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.