The Bow is a backward bend in which both halves of the body are raised off the ground at the same time. You can imagine the bent body as being the bow itself, with the stretched (straight) arms as the bowstring. It combines and enhances the benefits of both the Cobra and the Locust. The three āsanas are usually practiced together, forming a valuable set of backward-bending exercises.

The Bow may be seen as a counter-pose to the Plough and the Forward Bend. It is a full backward bend to supplement these two forward-bending exercises.

In the Bow, all parts of the back are worked simultaneously, increasing suppleness in the spine and hips. While holding the pose, the arms are held taut; this helps to stretch the neck, leg, arm and shoulder muscles. This posture focuses on spinal flexibility rather than strength, as it is not achieved by a contraction of the back muscles, but by the movements of the arms and legs.
Initially, you will find it easier to lift your knees with legs apart; more advanced students should aim to perform the Bow with legs together.


• Great benefits from the cervical through thoracic, lumbar and sacral regions. It gives the combined effect of the Cobra and the Locust. The back muscles are well massaged, and rheumatism is alleviated.
• As the internal organs, especially the digestive organs, are massaged and invigorated, the Bow helps to remove constipation, sluggishness of the liver and to cure dyspepsia (indigestion) and gastro-intestinal disorders.
• The large and small intestine as well as the liver and spleen are benefited. Regular practice of
the Bow helps to reduce fat, energize digestion, invigorate the appetite, and relieve congestion of the blood in the abdominal viscera.
• The Bow is specially recommended for people with diabetes, as it helps to regulate the pancreas.
• The female reproductive system receives a good massage.
• The thoracic region is expanded, a boon to persons suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma.
• It helps hunchback as well as rheumatism of the legs, knee-joints and hands.
• The Bow gives a deep massage to the back muscles. Like the Plough, this keeps the spine elastic.
• Those who do the Plough, Peacock and Bow can never become lazy. They will always be full of energy, vigour and vitality.


  • Title: Bow
  • Date Created: 2019-06
  • Location: Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwatari Ashram, Neyyar Dam
  • Type: Posture, Asana
  • Photography: Manoj Parameswaran

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