Akarna Dhanurasana: The Shooting Bow Pose
In Sanskrit, ‘karna’ means ear, ‘a’ means towards and ‘dhanur’ means bow. So, we can say that ‘Akarna Dhanurasana’ gives the appearance of a stretched bow. Experts recommend that this asana can give relief from joint stiffness and pain by stretching the muscles and joints of the hip, spines, neck, hands and legs. The ‘shooting bow pose’ can strengthen the lungs by increasing its capacity to hold air. Since this asana cause contraction of abdominal muscles this can promote bowel movement, thereby improving the digestive system.
How to Perform ‘Akarna Dhanurasana’?
- Sit on the floor with both legs stretched in front while keeping your back and head straight.
- Now place your left leg on your right knee. Your right leg should be straight.
- Gently lean forward and hold your right big toe with the left hand and the left big toe with your right hand.
- Sitting in this posture, try to give your right elbow as much backward stretch as you can.
- While breathing in, gently lift your left foot with your right hand and bring it up to your right ear. Your left knee should touch the left of your armpit.
- At this position, hold your breath initially for about 30 seconds. Gradually you may extend holding your breath up to several minutes.
- Breathe out slowly and return the foot gently on the floor.
- Repeat the asana on your opposite leg.
It is suggested that those who have weak hip joints should avoid practicing akarna dhanurasana. This is because it can bring severe strain to the hip muscles and joints.