Akarna Dhanurasana (Archer's Pose): Meaning, Steps, & Benefits

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In the Akarna dhanurasana pose, the foot is pulled again in direction of the ear (Karna), just like an archer's bow (Dhanur). It is an intermediate pose talked about in conventional hatha yoga texts. Stretching your legs on this place will increase the general flexibility of the physique.

Dandasana is carried out like a sitting place on the ground, with the legs, arms and spinal muscle mass stretched. It takes plenty of power and steadiness to carry the pose.

To carry out the archery pose, the practitioner should grasp each massive toes of the outstretched legs along with his palms. Then one of many toes is pulled again and the knee and elbow are bent. The leg is additional prolonged in order that the foot reaches the ear and at last the leg extends vertically upwards.

Meaning and interpretation

Akarna dhanurasana comes from Sanskrit, the place "Karna" refers to "ear", "dhanura" means "bow" and "asana" means "pose". The time period "Karna" has "A" as a prefix, which suggests "near" or "direction".

To obtain the posture, the yogi pulls one of many toes in direction of the ear whereas the second leg stays stretched ahead on the ground. As you pull one foot towards your ear, the posture resembles an arch arched to unload the arrow.

This pose is often known as the archery pose, archery pose or bow and arrow pose.


The pose was introduced as Dhanurasana in Svatmarama's Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Also, it’s described by the identical identify in Sritattvanidhi within the 19th century.

In fashionable yoga, nevertheless, it’s far too completely different from the Dhanurasana that you could be be acquainted with. In the 1966 publication Light on Yoga by B.Ok.S Iyengar this asana was described with the identify Akarna dhanurasana.

Symbolic illustration

Mundaka Upanishad (2.2.4) displays the symbolic illustration of Akarna Dhanurasana. Accordingly, archery is used as a metaphor for non secular observe.

The Om mantra is enchanted as a bow and the yogi as an arrow, whereby his senses are accepted as a string. The purpose of archery is outlined right here because the supreme energy, God.

By pulling the string, the practitioner withdraws the senses from the setting and attains the meditative state. By working towards the archery stance often, the practitioner can be targeted on some extent like an arrow.

With this energetically targeted state, it’s simpler to unite with the purpose (i.e. God) – this defines yoga.

Exercise instruction from Akarna Dhanurasana

akarna dhanurasana exercise instructionImage supply: Canva


  • Women throughout being pregnant and menstruation have to keep away from this pose.
  • It shouldn't be achieved with an damage to the shoulders and hamstrings.
  • People with a herniated disc or decrease again issues have to keep away from this asana.
  • Avoid it whereas recovering from current surgical procedure in your shoulders, backbone, arms, or hips.

Preparatory poses

How To Do Akarna Dhanurasana (Steps)

  1. Start sitting in Dandasana.
  2. Hold each of your massive toes in place by wrapping your thumb, index finger, and center finger round them.
  3. Exhale, elevate your left foot and bend your elbows and knees.
  4. Inhale after which exhale, pulling your left foot up till the heel reaches your left ear.
  5. At the identical time, pull your left arm again out of your shoulder.
  6. Hold your proper toe along with your proper hand and hold your proper leg straight.
  7. Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds and breathe usually.
  8. Exhale, proceed to tug your left leg and lengthen it vertically upwards.
  9. Inhale and as you exhale, pull your leg again till it touches your left ear. Holding each toes helps keep integrity and steadiness.
  10. Remain within the pose for 10-15 minutes and breathe usually.
  11. Exhale and bend your left knee to deliver your heel to your ear.
  12. Then deliver your left leg to the ground and straighten each legs ahead.
  13. Repeat the pose by lifting your proper leg and protecting your left one on the ground.
  14. Once you're achieved on either side, let go of your palms and legs to chill out.


  • Do not bend your knees whereas holding the pose.
  • The decrease leg have to be straight and firmly on the ground.
  • Do not lose your grip in your massive toes throughout your complete pose.

Follow up poses

Props and modifications

  • Chair – After sitting in Dandasana, place a chair subsequent to your shoulder. Lift the leg that’s holding the massive toe and place the foot on the chair because it approaches the ear.
  • Yoga strap – Sit close to a wall and tie a yoga strap over you. Perform the asana and place the arch of the raised foot within the loop whereas extending the leg vertically.
  • Alternatively, a yoga strap can be utilized to grip the decrease foot. Wrap the strap across the foot of the resting leg. Holding the strap to additional grasp the foot, elevate the opposite leg and straighten it up as instructed.
  • Against a pillar – Sit subsequent to a pillar in Dandasana. Hold your leg subsequent to the column leg to straighten it up. When straightening up, place your heel on the column. This will hold the pose extra steady.


  • Akarna Dhanurasana standing – This variant is practiced in Kundalini Yoga as Kriya.
    To do that, the legs are introduced into the martial place. Then the appropriate hand is stretched ahead (parallel to the appropriate knee) and the left arm is pulled again on the left shoulder; Archers learn how to pose.
  • Baddha Akarna Dhanurasana – Baddha means sure. With this variant, each palms are positioned across the rear stretched leg after reaching the archery place in order that it may be stretched upwards with the hand restraint.
  • Akarna dhanurasana II – Sit in Dandasana. Bend your left knee and place your left foot in your proper thigh. Hold your left massive toe along with your proper hand round your thumb, index finger, and center finger. Hold your proper massive toe along with your left hand. Lift your left foot along with your proper hand to tug it nearer to your proper ear. Repeat the method alternately along with your palms and legs.
  • Akarna dhanurasana prolonged variation – Sit in Dandasana and lift your left leg by putting it behind your neck. Hold the leg along with your left hand along with your thumb close to the ankle. Switch palms to carry your left foot along with your proper hand. Turn proper and straighten your left arm to carry your proper toes. At the identical time, increase your left arm to carry your left toes. Then launch your legs and repeat the alternation.

Therapeutic makes use of

  • Akarna dhanurasana has therapeutic results on that Back ache.
  • It stretches the shoulders, so it has been proven to be helpful Treatment of frozen shoulders.
  • This pose is useful in Cure Sciatica.
  • Perform this asana to alleviate menstrual cramps, irregularities, and ache within the decrease stomach.
  • It makes the joints versatile, so it’s helpful in remedy Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Patient with bronchial asthma should carry out the pose because it improves respiratory capability.
  • It has soothing results on those that undergo from it Tuberculosis, cough, or tonsillitis.
  • Akarna dhanurasana improves digestion and cures constipation.
  • This pose heals Gout or leg ache.
  • It additionally has the potential to heal tumors or lumps within the armpit.
  • Any loin ache will be relieved by performing this pose.

Akarna Dhanurasana advantages

1. Strengthens the legs and arms

Akarna dhanurasana intensely stretches the leg muscle mass. In addition to the legs, the joints of the arms, together with shoulders and elbows, are additionally skilled whereas performing the pose. It improves blood circulate to those muscle mass, making them stronger because of this.

2. Tones the abdomen

The core muscle mass are additionally stretched whereas sustaining the archery stance. It stimulates the belly organs. It burns the fats across the stomach and strengthens the belly muscle mass.

The stimulation of the interior organs additionally improves digestion.

3. Improves the flexibleness of the hips and backbone

Akarna dhanurasana is carried out whereas sitting on the ground with the leg raised towards gravity. It opens the hips by stretching the hip flexors. The backbone is held upright and stimulated from the decrease again to the crown of the top.

By increasing the spinal muscle mass and opening the hips, flexibility is elevated.

4. Improves blood circulation

This asana additionally opens the chest and improves cardiac output. It will increase blood circulate to the hips, knees, and abdomen space. Opening the guts improves the general functioning of the circulatory system.

5. Improves kidney and liver effectivity

The posture places stress on the interior organs such because the kidney and liver. It massages these organs. In addition, the perform of the spleen is stimulated.

It improves the immune system. Improved functioning of the liver and kidneys filters the blood and removes toxins from the physique.

6. Improves focus

Akarna dhanurasana is a difficult pose that requires mindfulness in an effort to steadiness the physique. While you maintain the posture, the mind stays balanced and calm. It improves the practitioner's focus and talent to pay attention.

7. Stimulates the sacral chakra

Holding this posture places stress on the decrease stomach. It prompts the Svadhisthana (Sacral) Chakra. This promotes the creativity, emotional well-being and sensuality of the yogi.


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