In the Akarna Dhanurasana posture, the leg is pulled back towards the ear which resembles an archer shooting bow. It is an intermediate pose mentioned in traditional hatha yoga texts. Stretching the legs in this posture increases the overall flexibility of the body. It is done in a sitting position on the floor like Dandasana with the legs, arms and the “muscles” of the spine stretched. Holding this mudra requires a lot of strength and balance. Through 3 days yoga retreat in Rishikesh, you can learn yoga and get complete information about yoga. To perform the pose of the archer, the practitioner has to hold both the big toes of the extended legs with their hands. After this, one leg is pulled backward while bending the respective knee and elbow. The leg is extended forward so that the leg reaches the ear and finally the leg is raised vertically.
What is Akarna Dhanurasana?
Akarna Dhanurasana is a Sanskrit word. This word is made up of a total of 8 words. The first word has come. Aa means to invoke. The word invoke means to summon or attract. The second word means diagonal. It is also a part of the body. The third word Dharanu means bow. The fourth word asana refers to sitting, standing, or sleeping in a fixed position. It is also called in English or Posture.
how to do Akarna dhanurasana
- The first step to doing this asana is to spread your legs out in front of you.
- Join both the ankles and the toes together.
- Now hold the left toe with the right hand and the right toe with the left hand.
- Bend your right foot with your left hand and touch the toe of your left ear.
- Meanwhile, keep your elbows up and look forward.
- Similarly, repeat this posture by pulling the left leg and bringing it closer to the right ear.
- Stay in this position for 15-30 seconds or as long as you can and then come back to the previous position.
- During this asana, keep inhaling and exhaling deeply.
How to do Akarna Dhanurasana:
- Gradually increase the practice to do Akarna Dhanurasana.
- Do not practice this asana in case of discomfort.
- Never stress on the shoulders or knees.
- Always make sure the warm-up is done and the core muscles are active.
- If you ever feel any discomfort or pain, do not apply any kind of pressure.
- Slowly stop doing asanas and relax.
- Do this Akarna Dhanurasana yoga for the first time only under the supervision of a guru.
Benefits of Akarna Dhanurasana:
1. Beneficial in making the stomach toned
The core muscles are also stretched while holding the archer’s pose. It stimulates the abdominal organs, it burns the fat around the abdomen, and tones the abdominal muscles. Stimulation of internal organs also improves digestion.
2. To improve bone flexibility
Akarna Dhanurasana is performed while sitting on the floor and lifting the legs against gravity, it opens the hips by stretching the hip flexors. The spine is kept straight and stimulated from the lower back to the crown of the head. Flexibility is increased by expanding the muscles of the spine and opening the hips.
3. Beneficial in improving concentration
Akarna Dhanurasana is a challenging asana that requires mindfulness to balance the body. While holding the pose the mind is kept balanced and stable, it improves the focus and concentration power of the practitioner.
4. Beneficial in strengthening the legs
Akarna Dhanurasana intensely stretches the leg muscles. Along with the legs, the joints of the arms including the shoulders and elbows are also exercised while doing this asana. It improves blood flow to these muscles hence making them stronger.
Method of Akarna Dhanurasana:
- Sit comfortably on the yoga mat, the head, shoulders, and back will be absolutely straight.
- Place the palms on the thighs and take a deep breath, moving the right hand towards the big toe of the right foot.
- Grab the toe and pull the right foot towards the face.
- Now bend down with the left hand to reach the big toe of your left foot and the left foot should be strong on the ground
- Then move the right leg with the right hand towards the right ear in front of the face, repeat this asana at least twice with each leg
- Keep breathing at a normal pace.
Meaning of Akarna Dhanurasana:
Akarna Dhanurasana is derived from Sanskrit where Karna refers to the ear. The word Karna has A as a prefix which means near or towards. To achieve the asana, the yogi pulls one leg towards the ear. While the other leg is stretched forward on the ground. The body posture while pulling one leg towards the ear is similar to that of an arched bow for the discharge of arrows. This pose is also known as Shooting Bow Pose, Archer Pose or Bow-and-Arrow Pose.
Precautions of Akarna Dhanurasana:
- You should not perform this asana if you are experiencing back pain, or if you have shoulder pain.
- You should not perform this asana if you are sick or have high blood pressure or heart disease. You should not perform this asana if you have diarrhea.
- Akarna Dhanurasana should not be done if there is a sore throat.
- If you have knee pain or arthritis, just practice against a wall.
- In the beginning, do Akarna Dhanurasana only under the supervision of a yoga instructor, you can also do this asana on your own when the balance is achieved.
- Before practicing Akarna Dhanurasana, definitely consult a doctor.