[Pose Of the Week] Standing Bow Pose (Advanced)

This challenging standing balance pose simultaneously improves strength, flexibility, balance, & circulation. Learn how to do Standing Bow Pose here…

Standing Bow Pose (Dandayamana Dhanurasana) – aka Standing Bow Pulling Pose – is an advanced yoga pose that is similar to Dancer’s Pose, but with some key differences. While in Dancer’s Pose (or Lord of the Dance Pose) the focus is on the back bend action and deepening the flexibility of the spine while keeping an upright torso, Standing Bow Pose aligns the torso and forward arm parallel to the floor, while focusing on increasing the stretch of the back leg and the standing leg in opposition. In Standing Bow, you will hold onto the inside edge of the foot or ankle, while in Dancer’s Pose, you grasp the outer edge, or bring both hands behind you to hold the toes for an increased challenge. Both poses are valuable, but if you find you prefer one over the other, feel free to substitute it in your practice, even though some of the benefits are slightly different.

Standing Bow Pose is great for improving strength and balance of the spine, core muscles, legs, hips, and glutes, while also increasing circulation to the heart and lungs. It provides a great stretch to the chest and shoulders, and is believed to stimulate the cardiovascular system and improve lung capacity. This pose is commonly practiced in Bikram yoga classes due to its cardiovascular effects, and it is believed to help balance and improve circulation throughout the body. As you progress in the pose, work towards straightening your lifted leg, ultimately bringing your legs into a standing splits posture.

This is an advanced-level pose, so be sure you are fully warmed up before performing Standing Bow Pose. If you have trouble balancing, you can also practice near a wall for balance. You can also wrap a yoga strap around the raised foot if you have trouble reaching the foot with your hand. Those with knee, ankle, hip, or spine injuries should avoid this pose.

How to Do Standing Bow Pose:

Step 1: Begin standing with your feet together and parallel, your arms relaxed at your sides with palms facing forward.

Step 2: Release your left arm in front of you, then grasp the top of your right foot with your right hand, holding from the inside of the foot. Alternatively, as you progress, you can grasp the inside of the right ankle.

Step 3: Lift your left arm directly up, maintaining an erect posture.

Step 4: On an exhale, extend your right leg back and up with toes pointed. Your torso will naturally lean forward for balance, and your right leg should stay slightly bent.

Step 5: Slowly lower your body until your chest and abdomen are nearly parallel to the floor and your right foot moves toward over the center of your head. Repeat on the other side.

See video here, or learn more at ClassPass.com


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