Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend
This asana covers the stretching of the whole body from head to heels
- Start in a seated position with your legs extended in front and your feet flex.
- Pull away the flesh from under the buttocks allowing your sitting bones to press firmly into the ground.
- Lift your arms up to the sky to extend the spine and the sides of the body.
- On the exhale lean forward, folding from your hip joint (not the waist) while keeping your torso long.
- As much as possible, try keeping the back straight, chest open and shoulders away from the ears.
- Every time you inhale, lift and gently lengthen your front torso. With each exhalation, release a little deeper into the forward bend.
- If your hands happen to reach your toes, grab the outside of your feet with your hands. If not, rest the hands on the shins or use a strap.
- Stay in the pose for about 1-3 minutes.
- Finally, slowly come out of the pose, sitting with a long spine and straight legs.
Often, because of tightness in the backs of the legs, a beginner’s forward bend doesn’t go very far forward and might look more like sitting up straight.
In this case, don’t hesitate to sit up on a folded blanket or hold a strap around the feet.
- Calms the mind.
- Helps relieve stress.
- Remove anxiety, anger and irritability.
- Stretches the spine, shoulders & hamstrings.
- Improves digestion.
- Tones the abdominal pelvic organs.
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort.
- Soothes headache and reduces fatigue.
- Avoid during pregnancy.
- Avoid if suffering from slip disc or sciatica.
- Avoid if suffering from asthma.