Remember how strong, determined and brave the archer character of Katniss Everdeen was in Hunger Games? Would you believe me if I told you that by holding a similar archer’s position in your body you can increase your own courage, self esteem, and inner power? It’s true and Standing Archer Pose is your invitation to experiment.

What Is Archer Pose In Kundalini Yoga?

Archer Pose in Kundalini yoga is a standing posture that arranges your body into a form that helps you recognize and integrate your personal self-power and strength. Maybe you are familiar with the popular “Superhero Stance” that is recommended to boost confidence in stressful situations? Archer Pose, also an open posture, operates in a similar manner. 

kundalini archer pose

In Kundalini University, my and Guru Singh’s 200-Hour Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training, Guru Singh discusses how one of the things that is universally important in the human body is the way in which your pelvis is aligned. Your pelvis is a major joint center where your legs and spine connect. 

Why does this matter? In Kundalini yoga lineage, the way your pelvis is aligned will have an impact on your intent in life. Your pelvis is representative of your life purpose. It is your base, the home of resting Kundalini energy. To take this further, think of your left leg as how you’re motivated and the right leg as how you’re meeting your purpose in life. The sacrum to spine to diaphragm connection is how that purpose is manifesting. How your purpose is being brought to life.

All of these somatic emotional connections are riding on the pelvis. The work you do in the open stance of Archer Pose stimulates and strengthens your pelvic area.

Benefits Of Archery Pose

The Kundalini yoga posture, Archer Pose, works multiple large muscle groups and body parts, including the hips, thighs, arms, shoulders, and core.

The base of this yoga pose is Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II). Both poses share the physical benefits of:

  • Improves balance and stabilization
  • Hip opening improves hip mobility
  • (Front leg) Inner thigh releases, outer hip strengthens, balances muscles of the knee and thigh
  • (Back leg) mobilizes hip rotators, stretches hamstring, stabilizes ankle joint
  • Strengthens muscles of the back and increases core strength
  • Tones shoulder joint and surrounding musculature
  • Stretches arms and opens shoulders and chest
  • Builds nervous system resilience
  • Increases physical stamina
  • The unique arm placement of Archer Pose and focus on the extended thumb helps you to develop your ability to focus. Not just focus on what is in front of you, but also that which is beyond. To extend focus to your horizon of what is possible.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Depending on where you look, Archer Pose is said to be associated with various chakras. The truth is, this body opening and dhristi-focused posture assists all of them. Practice of Archer Pose gives all the chakras a gentle opportunity to open and balance that will allow for more easeful energy flow in your entire body.

With daily practice you may start to notice that your perception shifts. Maybe you notice a heightened awareness of what needs to be done to move forward with your goals. Or you start to feel more self confident. More courageous.

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Are You Chanting Correctly? Refine Your Tune with Me!

    How To Practice The Yoga Archer Pose

    If you are familiar with the Warrior II yoga pose, Standing Archer Pose will be a fun and empowering variation to help build courage and confidence. While you practice this posture, envision yourself at your full potential. Marvelously dynamic and realizing your goals.

    To enter Standing Archer Pose:

    • Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), your hands rest at your sides and palms face forward. Feet are hip-width apart and face forward.
    • Step your left foot back about 2 to 3 feet into a long open stance. Turn your left foot open at a 45 degree angle away from your body. Check that your front heel bisects your back arch. Ensure your right knee does not go beyond your toes. Work toward a 90 degree angle in your bent right knee with your right thigh parallel to the floor. Keep both feet flat on the floor and press through the outer edge of your back foot. Keep your back leg straight.
    • Hold your torso tall, spine straight, and stack your shoulders directly over your hips. 
    • With both hands, curl your fingers into your palms to create fists. Keep your thumbs free and extended from the fists.
    • Torso faces forward. Raise both arms straight in front of you parallel to the ground. Your hands are in fists with thumbs pointed up like you are giving someone a thumbs up sign.
    • Keep your right arm in front of you and slowly draw your left elbow back as if you are holding a bow and arrow. Your left fist will stop by your left shoulder or armpit where you will hold this position. Keep the thumbs face up. As you pull your left arm back into this bow and arrow position, you will turn your whole torso slightly to the left. You will feel a stretch across your chest as you open up space for your heart and lungs.
    • You can choose from different dhristi options in this posture. Some options include: Focus your eyes on the right thumb in front of you; Focus on one point out in the distance; Focus on an imagined distance such as a faraway point in the cosmos.
    • You can choose between either long deep breathing in this posture or to practice breath of fire.
    • Begin by holding Standing Archer Pose for 1 to 3 minutes on each side. Work up to 11 minutes. 
    • Switch sides and practice Archer Pose with your left foot in front. One way you can adjust to your opposite side is by stepping forward back into Mountain Pose. You can alternatively choose to keep your legs in their open stance and shift your body around to have your left foot forward, right foot turned out at a 45 degree angle.

    When you complete both sides, return to Mountain Pose with your arms relaxed at the sides of your body. Shake your legs gently to relieve any tension. If you’d like, you can also come to a seated position with your hands in your lap or at rest on your thighs.

    Take 1 to 3 minutes to be in stillness and take a few normal breaths. Try to notice how you feel in this moment compared to before you began the pose practice.

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    Kundalini Archer Pose Variations 

    To make the posture a little more challenging, come up onto your toes in your front bent leg and sink a little deeper.

    kundalini archer pose variation

    If standing is not part of your practice, you can also perform Archer Pose in a chair. You will remove the leg portion of the posture and only move from your upper body. Turn your torso and face slightly to move into the Archer Pose arm positions described above.

    If you have pressure on your hips, keep your feet closer together or the front knee straighter. You can also point both feet out in a slight 45 degree angle towards the wide edge of the mat. This helps reduce rotation of the hips.

    Take extra care practicing Standing Archer Pose if you have difficulty with balance or hip, ankle, or knee injuries.

    Closing Thoughts

    Standing Archer Pose is a special, total chakra posture that with regular practice helps you step into your courage and passion. 

    If you’d like to learn more about Kundalini specific postures with myself and Guru Singh, consider joining us in our 200-Hour Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training. Plus, check out my podcast episode about Kriyanology, the science of sequencing Kundalini postures, if you want to nerd out even more.

    You can also study with me in my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. In this training you will not only learn about specific postures from the Hatha/Vinyasa tradition but also receive individualized feedback on your pose form.

    Next Steps

    Experience 3 Training Videos from Inside My 200-Hour Online YTT