How to Guide: Standing Bow (Dandayamana Dhanurasana)

Standing bow pose, also known as Dandayamana Dhanurasana, seems to exist on the extremes of Bikram practitioners – for some being their favorite posture and for others being their most loathed. Love it or hate it, this posture is a perfect example of the tourniquet effect in Bikram Yoga because it transfers circulation from one side of the body to the other. It is a very comprehensive posture with a multitude of benefits, improving the flexibility and strength of most of the body’s muscles.

Photographer: Natalie Lytvak, Lyt Photography; Hair & Makeup Artist: Amanda Robbins

Benefits of Standing Bow Pose include:

  • Stimulates the cardiovascular system
  • Increases circulation to the heart and lungs
  • Opens diaphragm
  • Opens the shoulder joints
  • Helps with frozen shoulder conditions
  • Improves the elasticity of the spine
  • Improves strength and balance firming the abdominal wall and upper thighs while also tightening the upper arms, hips and buttocks
  • Increases the size and elasticity of the rib cage and lungs and improves the flexibility and strength of the lower spine
  • Helps to reduce abdominal fat
Photographer: Natalie Lytvak, Lyt Photography; Hair & Makeup Artist: Amanda Robbins


How to & Tips for Standing Bow Pose:

  • Grab the ankle joint and keep a good strong grip using all five fingers
  • Start with your knees together
  • Raise arm up to and continuously stretch it up toward the ceiling
  • Make sure to keep your knee locked
  • Charge your body forward
  • Feel your spine arching backward as you kick
  • Keep imagining seeing your foot coming over the top of your head more and more

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