Wednesday 8 August 2012

Dandayamana-Dhanurasana – Standing Bow Pulling pose - For Beginners

Almost everyone gets the grip wrong at first. Your wrist will be inside the foot and your fingers pointing outward.

As in Standing Head to Knee Pose, the standing leg must remain absolutely straight. So as a beginner, do only as much as you can while keeping your knee locked. Remember also not to let your arm drop. Think of it as a Siamese twin to your head.

As impossible as this pose seems the first time you try it, it is the pose people seem to resent the least and are the most anxious to perform and perfect. It just looks so pretty!

The most important advice we can give you here is don’t be in hurry to dive into this position. Get yourself firmly set! Set your eyes on one spot, lock your standing knee, level your hips, and drop your raised knee toward the floor. Both of your thighs will then face directly forward, the bottom of your raised foot will point directly at the ceiling, and the toes will point directly at the back wall – all perfectly up and down, forward and back. No ballet “turnout” in Yoga. Only after you have done the above should you commence pivoting forward, at all times reinforcing the straight up-and-down, forward-and-back angles you began with. Most important, don’t let your lifted knee swing to the side  - like a chicken wing.

Remember, the name of this pose is the Standing Bow Pulling ; use your body exactly like a bow being strung and drawn by an archer. This means you must arch your head and spine even more backward as you pivot forward. If you begin to lose your balance, raise your arm and head higher and kick harder upward and backward against your hand – in effect tautening the “bow” even more, or “picking yourself up by the bootstraps.” You’ll be amazed at how it restores balance!

Naturally, you must make it hurt in the back of your standing knee. But never dive forward or kick up exuberantly or abruptly. And never do the Standing Bow Pulling with cold, unprepared muscles. In other words, nice as it is to have a spectacular party trick – don’ t.

Once you get your abdomen truly parallel to the floor – and only then – will you achieve the graceful standing split!


Standing Bow Pulling is a perfect example of the “damming” effect in Yoga, because it transfers the circulation from one side of the body to other, and then equalizes it – circulating fresh blood to each internal organ and gland to keep them healthy.

Like the Standing Head to Knee, this pose helps develop concentration, patience, and determination. Physically, it firms the abdominal wall and upper thighs, and tightens upper arms, hips, and buttocks. It increases the size and elasticity of the rib cage and the lungs and improves the flexibility and strength of the lower spine and most of the body’s muscles.

Read more about this poses benefits, pictures, video and tips from here!
Drawings and info from "Bikram´s Beginning Yoga Class " Book, 1978.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dandayamana-Dhanurasana - Standing Bow Pulling Pose Stimulates cardiovascular system.