Padangustha Dhanurasana

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Padangustha Dhanurasana Mean?

Padangustha dhanurasana is an advanced backbend that is one of the asanas in the fourth series of Ashtanga yoga, also known as the advanced B series. The name comes from the Sanskrit terms pada, meaning “foot”; angustha, meaning “limb” or “big toe”; dharnura, meaning “bow”; and asana, which means “pose” or “posture.”

In this posture, the yogi lies on his stomach while arching the back and reaching the arms and feet overhead toward each other until he can grasp his big toes. The body resembles a teardrop shape.

In English, it is known as big toe bow pose or teardrop bow pose.

Padangustha Dhanurasana


Yogapedia Explains Padangustha Dhanurasana

This advanced version of dhanurasana, or bow pose, should only be attempted after beginner and intermediate backbends have been mastered. In the Ashtanga vinyasa, padangustha dhanurasanaconsists of two poses. The teardrop version is padangustha dhanurasana A. In the “B” version, the feet are dropped to the head or the ears, creating an even more intense backbend.

In addition to opening the chest, strengthening the spine and stretching the entire front body, this invigorating pose reduces stress and anxiety, and stimulates the mind. Like the basic bow pose, padangustha dhanurasana opens the anahata (heart) chakra, which is associated with love, openness, compassion, empathy, forgiveness and acceptance.

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