The Shooting Bow Pose - Akarna Dhanurasana

The shooting bow pose derives its name from the formation that one finds his or her body in when performing the pose. This is also known as the Akarna dhanura asana.

The pose is named so because the shape the body takes resembles that of a bow and arrow.


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Steps :

  1. Sit firmly on the floor and place your legs together releasing them straight out in front of you. While doing thins make sure that your back, shoulders and head is straight.
  2. Once you are comfortably seated in this position, place your palms on your thighs and breathe in deeply.
  3. As you exhale slowly slide your right hand down to the big toe of your right foot and pull the foot towards your face.
  4. At the same time allow the left hand to reach the big toe of the left foot and hold it there.
  5. Inhale deeply and let your right foot reach the right ear.
  6. Stay in this pose for some time.
  7. As you exhale get to your normal position of sitting comfortably.
  8. Repeat this pose again with the other leg.

This pose should be repeated at least twice for both legs in order to receive maximum benefit.


  • Firstly, if you are a beginner do not try the pose when you are alone.

  • This pose belongs to the intermediate level of yoga poses and therefore if you are novice, you should not try this pose at the very outset.
  • You should not perform this asana in case you are pregnant.
  • People with spinal injuries should also avoid this pose.

Beginner’s Tip :

One of the best beginners tips that can be offered when it comes to the shooting bow pose is that if you are having a hard time lifting the thighs away from the floor, you can give yourself a little upward boost by lying down with the thighs being supported by a rolled up blanket.

Benefit to Body Part :

The anatomical focus of the shooting bow pose includes the groins, thighs, chest, belly, spine, shoulders and neck. Some of the benefits of performing this pose include:

  • working and strengthening the legs
  • core muscles build-up
  • the improvement of grace and concentration

Therapeutic Applications :

  • It helps and betters the process of digestion, clears constipation and treats indigestion.
  • It also helps in healing pain in the lower areas of the abdomen and also relieves pain in the larger intestines
  • The pose also helps in regularizing the menstrual cycle in most women.
  • Breathing is greatly enhanced with this pose as it increases the capacity of the lungs to retain oxygen.

Variations :

One of the variations you could switch to when performing the pose is that you use your left hand to pull the right leg to the right ear and vice versa. This could get a little complicated and therefore should be attempted only after you have mastered the actual pose. Your trainer will be able to guide you with different variations.

Preparatory Poses :

Follow Up Poses :

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