Akarm Dhanurasana

Definition - What does Akarm Dhanurasana mean?

Akarm dhanurasana is an intermediate seated posture that requires flexibility in the legs and hips. The name comes from the Sanskrit prefix, a, which means “toward”; karna, meaning “ear”; dhanu, meaning “bow”; and asana, which is translated as “posture” or “pose.”

To practice the pose, the yogi sits on the ground with both legs extended and the index fingers holding the respective big toes. With one arm, the yogi pulls one foot back until it is level with the ear, as if pulling back the string on a bow.

Akarm dhanurasana is called archer pose or shooting bow pose in English; so-named because the asana resembles an archer shooting an arrow.

Akarm Dhanurasana

Yogapedia explains Akarm Dhanurasana

In addition to its physical benefits, akarm dhanurasana improves concentration and focus. It is also believed to open up the svadisthana (spleen or sacral) chakra, the center of creative and sexual energy. Balancing svadisthana through practice of akarm dhanurasana is believed to stimulate feelings of pleasure, abundance, wellness and emotional stability. It is also thought to dispel fears of change and help those suffering from addiction and depression.

Akarm dhanurasana reminds yogis of the importance of spiritual practice. In the "Mundaka Upanishad," archery serves as a metaphor for spiritual practice with the bow symbolizing the sound of Om, the arrow symbolizing the Self, the pulling back of the string symbolizing meditation, and the target representing the Supreme Reality (Brahman).

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