Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Bow Stance

Posted by terrepruitt on January 30, 2010

One thing about a blog on WordPress, I can see search terms.  My blog statistics show me terms used in a search that led people to my blog.  One thing I noticed was bow stance came up a lot in the search terms.  People want to know what it is, how to do it, what is it for, etc.

So I thought I would post another post on the Bow Stance.  I am familiar with the stance from other exercises and other exercise classes.  It is not unique to Nia, but Nia includes it in the Nia 52 Moves.  I feel it can be compared to a lunge. 

The bow stance is one leg bent with the foot flat on the ground, the other leg is bent and out behind with the heel lifted and the ball of the foot on the ground.  The feet are not aligned, so if you were to bring your back foot forward it would not collide with the foot in front.  Can you picture it?  It is kind of like a lunge. 

The Nia Technique book states that the benefits are conditioning for walking and dealing with changing levels as the body’s center moves up and down. 

My feelings about the bow stance are that it is great for working out the lower body and for practicing balance. 

The bow stance can be done with many variations.  The typical bow stance is that described above, but, when the feet are place wider apart as if on two railroad ties the stance actually becomes more stable, but if you add moving arms to that it become less stable.  If you were to raise and lower your entire body, it changes the dynamics yet again.  If you were to add motion to the hips, it changes it again.  If you were to place the back foot further back it changes it again.  Another way to challenge the muscles is to change which foot holds the weight, leaning the weight to the front or to the back. 

This stance is used a lot in Nia routines and I imagine that is because it is such a great exercise and it can be used so many different ways.  It fits into many different songs and adds to the dance.  Sometimes we move in and out of it quickly, sometimes we stay and play.  It is a great movement.

Previously I mentioned it being good for the lower body that is because you can see how it is very good for the feet and ankles too.  When the back foot it resting on the ball of the foot, it helps with both strength and flexibility of the foot.  When movement is added to the stance it helps with both strength and flexibility of the ankle.

So we answered the question originally stated:

    the bow stance is somewhat like a lunge
    one foot is in front flat on the ground, the other is in back with the heel up, both legs are bent
    it helps with strength, balance, and flexibilty

I hope that helps.  If you have anything to add or ask, please do so.  And, as always thank you for stopping by. If you want to see how the bow stances is added to a dance workout and you want to try it yourself, join me in a class.

8 Responses to “Bow Stance”

  1. Michele said

    Hi it’s just me…saying hi and I like this 🙂


  2. niachick said

    Hi Terre!!! I love your invitation to join you in a Nia class. Maybe one day I will!!!

    I’m interested to learn more about how you used WordPress to search terms. Perhaps that could be a private conversation between you and I?

    The bow stance: one of my favorite stances and one that took me YEARS to learn. I feel that I have a fairly good grasp of it now mostly due to the increased flexibility in my feet…I didn’t used to be able to put the ball of my foot down and have my heel come up very high. When I do a bow stance now, and am on the ball of my foot, I am able to lift my heel so that the rest of my foot is vertical (if that makes any sense).

    I’ve been teaching Aya recently. Aya is a new routine by Carlos AyaRosas. One of the songs has the bow stance in the choreography — stepping back onto the ball of foot in a bow stance lifting both arms, coming back to center, then stepping back on the opposite foot. Then turning to the left and stepping back on the ball of the foot, and the turning to the right.

    I really love this sequence — the mobility, the agility, the BALANCING!! All the things you’ve mentioned in your Blog make the bow stance a great movement. Another move I like to do with the bow stance is to bring the back foot up into a full balance on one leg (the “Cat Stance”).

    Thanks for spreading the word about the fabulous movements that make up The Nia Technique!!!


    • We can talk privately if you would like. I am not on MY computer so I don’t have access to my e-mail. But anyway . . . I see the terms that people have used to search on my blog stats page. I know that we have different themes, but I think the stat page is the same. Under the “Dashboard” heading I would think you would have “Blog Stats”. When you click on that the stats come up and there is an area that says, “Search Engine Terms”. You can see the current ones or click on the words “Search Engine Terms” and it takes you to a page with day by days information.

      What you said makes sense. When in the bow stance the foot with the heel up should be vertical. Good description.

      I was also trying to inform people that when doing a routine it might not be possible to get into the “perfect” bow stance because sometimes it is quick or we are moving in other ways.

      I have not done Aya. I have done songs from it, but not the whole routine, but what you described sounds like a move in one of the Global Unity songs, but that could be just because I probably am just thinking of that.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!


  3. […] do lunges in Nia all the time. We call them the “bow stance”.  Different Nia routines have different “lunges”.  Sometimes we do them fast, […]


  4. […] in the Nia 52 Moves. There is Closed Stance, Open Stance, A Stance, Sumo (or Riding) Stance, Bow Stance, and Cat Stance. I believe that in its basic form closed stance is the easiest. But when other […]


  5. […] bow stance has a sound of “u”.  The bow stance is done with either foot in front, not just with […]


  6. […] in the 52 Moves of Nia.  Closed Stance, Open Stance, “A” Stance, Riding (Sumo) Stance, Bow Stance, and the Cat Stance.  Each stance has a sound associated with it for practice.  There are […]


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