Archer's Pose - Akarna Dhanurasana - The Yoga Collective

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Archer’s Pose – Akarna Dhanurasana

Pose Summary

Archer’s Pose aka Akarna Dhanurasana, as in archery, requires both strength and flexibility. Supta Padangusthasana I, II, and III (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose I, II, and III); Paripurna Navasana and Ardha Navasana (Full Boat and Half Boat Pose); and Malasana (Garland Pose) are great preparatory postures to get into this one! 

Yoga Collective - Archer’s Pose – Akarna Dhanurasana

Steps

Step 1

Come to a seat on the earth with your legs extended out in front of you and your spine long. This is Dandasana.

Step 2 

Keep the sit bones rooted into the earth as you lean forward and grab a hold of your big toes with first the thumb, index and middle of each hand. Then straighten the arms and legs.

Step 3 

Maintain the arms and legs straight as you lift the right foot and leg as high as possible.

Step 4 

Bend right knee and point it straight in back of you.  The sole of the right foot is inline with the right ear. The right elbow is also pointing straight back.

Step 5 

Engage the left thigh, firm the kneecap and hamstring. Press the left leg in to the earth and reach through the left heel and flex the toes towards the body. 

Step 6

Maintain length in the spine and keep the sit bones rooted into the earth.  

Step 7 

Soften the gaze straight ahead.

Step 8 

To release the posture, gently extend and place the right leg back onto the earth, Then release the grip around the big toes and bring the spine back to perpendicular to the earth. Repeat on the opposite side.  

Benefits

  • Increases mobility the hips 
  • Tones the core, arms, and shoulder muscles 
  • Stretches the hamstrings and hips 

Contraindications

  • Pregnancy 
  • Shoulder, hamstring, or spinal injuries