Akarna Dhanurasana

Intermidate

Seated Asanas

Akarna Dhanurasana

Archer’s Pose

(a-kar-na-da-nu-ra-sun)

Meaning: akarna =towards the ear / dhanu = bow

Preparation

Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) - spine straight and upright, hands at your sides, extend legs forward, feet together. Inhale, exhale and relax.

Getting into position

Bend your left leg and bring the sole (bottom) of the left foot close to the right knee. Bend forward slightly and hold the right big toe with your right thumb, index, and middle fingers. Sit straight and grab the left big toe with your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Exhaling, relax the left leg completely. Inhaling, lift your left foot with your left hand (hand angled down with elbow raised), and bring your foot up, close to chest height. Press your right leg into the floor for stability. Inhale. Exhaling, pull your left foot back and upward to your left ear (or just above your ear), stretch the abdomen, open the chest, and rotate your torso and shoulders back slightly to the left. Keep your spine upright and your elbow above your shoulders. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling brings the foot closer to the ear. Hold with normal breathing for around 30 seconds.

Coming out of position

Slightly relax the body. Inhale. Exhaling, slowly release the left leg back to the floor, release the hands, and straighten your left leg to the starting position. Inhale, exhale and relax. Repeat on the other side.

Tips

  • When first bending your leg, do not move the foot too far from the side of the opposite knee.
  • If you have pain in the big toe, grab more toes with more fingers, or grab the outside of the foot.
  • If you struggle with your grip or your toes slip, clean and dry hands and feet.
  • Pull with hand facing downward to bring elbow up. Do not pull with your elbow down or straight backward.
  • If you get tired or feel excess pain, bring the leg down slowly.
  • Keep the back straight and the abdomen engaged throughout the practice.

Precautions

Avoid

If you have chronic/severe shoulder or knee problems.

Be careful

If you have had elbow, wrist, hamstring, or ankle issues.

Benefits

General

  • Opens the hips; stretches chest, abdomen, hips, and thighs.
  • Strengthens shoulders, arms, and back.
  • Improves blood flow to arms, hips, and legs.
  • Relieves fatigue in arms and legs.

Therapeutic

It helps to relieve pain in the large intestine and lower abdomen.

Variations

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