Because of the powerful elongation of the back of the body, standing forward bend provides a strong stretch for the hamstrings and helps lengthen and stretch the spine. The inverted nature of the posture increases the blood supply to the head and brain. Like all forward bends, it is considered a calming posture. The posture may also help to build strength in the muscles of the legs.
Care should be taken in performing this posture by anyone with back, hip or pelvis injuries. For those with tight hamstrings or back injuries, gentler variations of the pose include performing it with bent knees or doing a seated forward bend instead. It can also be modified with different arm positions, including placing the hands on the back of the legs, blocks or holding opposite elbows.
The posture can be held for a few breaths, or up to one minute or more. Practitioners should exit the position slowly. This is particularly important for those with low blood pressure.