How Do You Do That Posture? Standing Bow


This new series of blog posts features tips and tricks by teachers and students, each of whom has mastered a specific posture in the Bikram Yoga series! Think of it as an “insider’s guide” to doing the poses – each week you’ll learn something new that will help you advance your own practice!

Posture: Standing Bow (Dandayamana-Dhanurasana)

Expert: BYV Teacher Marcus T.

A good standing bow has three components:

  1. Chest, abdomen parallel to the floor.
  2. Two feet in one line from the side.
  3. Two shoulders in one line.


First, the setup:

  • It’s very important to make sure you grab by the ankle joint and keep a good, strong grip – that means all five fingers!
  • Always start with your knees together; this helps to ensure that your knee will be invisible behind the body and not sticking out to the side.
  • Raise your arm straight up in the air and continuously stretch up toward the ceiling to get your shoulder to your chin without moving your head.
  • Keep your standing leg locked out from start to finish; keeping a good foundation is crucial for all of the postures in the balancing series.

Next, the posture:

  • Charge your body forward toward the mirror and bring your body down toward the floor until your abdomen, chest and stomach are parallel to the floor.
  • Simultaneously stretch your arm forward to the mirror and kick your foot back as much as you can; you should feel pressure from your kicking foot against your hand.
  • Keep your “kicking” arm and shoulder relaxed and your head up, looking at yourself in the mirror (not down at the floor). Always look where you want your body to go.
  • Feel your spine arching backward as you kick, and keep your toes pointed up toward the ceiling.
  • When you feel like you’re about to lose your balance, kick back more and stretch your arm more forward – “If you lose the balance, you’re not kicking hard enough!”
  • Keep imagining seeing your foot coming over the top of your head more and more until eventually one day you’re doing a “perfect standing splits.”
  • If you’re close to having both legs locked out, try to contract the thigh of your kicking leg as much as you can until it’s completely locked out.

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