Ardha Dhanurasana

Definition - What does Ardha Dhanurasana mean?

Ardha dhanurasana is a backbending asana that is a less intense variation of the common Hatha yoga pose, dhanurasana. From Sanskrit, ardha means "half," dhanur means "bow" and asana means "pose."

Ardha dhanurasana begins by lying on the stomach. One leg remains on the mat. The other folds as the same hand reaches back to grab the foot, lifting the chest off the ground and creating an arch in the back. A yoga strap may be used to help the yogi reach the ankle.

Ardha dhanurasana is known as half bow pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Ardha Dhanurasana

Another version of ardha dhanurasana provides a bit more intense of a stretch, but not as intense as dhanurasana. It begins in a hands-and-knees tabletop position, then one leg stretches upward as the yogi reaches back to grab the ankle with the same hand.

Traditionally, ardha dhanurasana is believed to open the manipura (solar plexus or navel) chakra, which is the body's energy and vitality center. By activating the manipura, the yogi is able to dispel fear and insecurity; cultivate self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense of purpose; and stimulate the inner fire that creates a goal-driven attitude.

Ardha dhanurasana also opens up the nadis, thereby promoting flow of prana in the body. By regulating the flow of inner energy, the pose leads the yogi to Self-realization. The pose empowers the yogi, develops the "let go" attitude and aids in seeking the inner self.

Finally, ardha dhanurasana offers the following mental health benefits:

  • Boosts concentration
  • Energizes the mind
  • Improves willpower and self-esteem
  • Increases clarity
  • Relieves stress and depression

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