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Know your yoga pose: Akarna dhanurasana or the shooting bow pose

Flex your upper and lower body muscles like an archer with this pose.

Written by Bhakti Paun Sharma |Published : February 15, 2017 2:27 PM IST

The shooting bow pose or Akarna Dhanurasana directs self-awareness. This pose requires letting go off mental and physical distractions to attain maximum benefits and make the pose effortless. It is also called the archer pose or toward the ear pose too and requires you to breathe gently to release all the tension. Just like archery, this pose develops strength and flexibility of your arms, hips, legs and shoulders. Yoga expert Mahua Deb, trainer, Defence Welfare Association and at Vishakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) shares the steps to practice this asana along with its benefits:

Steps:

  1. Sit firmly on the floor and place your legs together releasing them straight out in front of you. While doing this make sure that your back, shoulders and head are straight and aligned.
  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.

Benefits

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  • Improves grace and concentration
  • Strengthens legs and builds the core muscles and develops core strength
  • Betters digestion and clears constipation.
  • Improves hip mobility and flexibility. Here are 8 other yoga asanas that improve flexibility.
  • Regularizes menstrual cycle.
  • Enhances capacity of lungs and thus improves breathing.

You can also try these variations of dhanurasana.

Contraindication

People with spinal injury and pregnant ladies must avoid this pose.

Image Source: Mahua Deb

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