Seated Forward Bend - aka Paschimottanasana
Paschimottanasana is a foundational pose for every yoga practitioner.
When you fold the top half of your body over the seated lower half, the pose helps stretch the whole back of your body and increase your flexibility.
The pose looks easy enough, but it can be a struggle for many practitioners.
During our daily activities, too much exercise or sitting too much can both result in a tight back, hips and legs.
The seated forward bend is a great pose to counter that and bring mental calmness.
Let’s take a seat on the mat in Dandasana, or Staff Pose.
Extend your heels away from your body, root down the inner thighs and press your fingertips into the earth, as shown in the photo above.
Take a deep breath, lengthen the front of your body, lift your heart and keep your chin up. As you exhale, hinge forward from your waist.
Lengthen your spine and keep your back flat and shoulders squared away.
In order to deepen the pose, walk your fingers as far forward as they can go.
If you can reach your feet, hold the outside of your feet with your hands.
Bend the elbows to the side and lift them up to lengthen the sides of your body, as shown above.
With each inhalation, draw the belly in, and with each exhalation, release yourself a little more into the fold.
Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths and then slowly release, as shown in the photo below.
Keep practicing. Namaste.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.