Standing Bow Pose

Definition - What does Standing Bow Pose mean?

Standing bow pose is a challenging standing balance. One leg is extended behind the body, and the same side's hand holds the ankle as the foot presses back and up. The body and other arm reach forward, like the arrow of a bow. In the full expression of the posture, the back leg can be straightened, bringing the legs into standing splits.

Standing bow pose is one of the 26 poses of Bikram yoga, and is included because of its wide range of physical health benefits. It simultaneously improves strength, flexibility, balance and circulation.

The Sanskrit name for standing bow pose is dandayamana dhanurasana.

Yogapedia explains Standing Bow Pose

Standing bow pose is considered beneficial for the body in a number of ways. As well as cultivating the physical benefits of backbends, it is thought to:

  • Improve balance
  • Expand the ribcage to improve respiratory capacity
  • Strengthen the core and thighs
  • Increase the flexibility of the spine

Like many postures in Bikram yoga, the main benefit of standing bow pose is to stimulate and then equalize the blood circulation across the two sides of the body.

It is said that students should stay in the first stage of the pose with the body upright for 10 to 15 seconds, then lean forward, extending the front arm straight ahead, while pressing the foot and ankle into the back hand.

Standing bow pose is an advanced posture, and it is important that beginners do not expect to achieve the full expression of the pose immediately.

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