Seated forward bend
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This forward bend gives a complete stretching to the neck, the back, the hamstrings, and calves. At the same time, it directs your attention inward. You stimulate the entire nervous system and learn to find stillness and relaxation during a period of effort or even discomfort when doing this stretching exercise.
The best thing about yoga is not only the sweat-inducing asanas, but also the restorative poses that increase strength and flexibility as it calms the mind and alleviate stress. The Paschimottanasana is a calming yoga pose that helps the neck, back, calves and hamstrings stay flexible. Paschimottanasana will be very helpful as you start doing more advanced yoga poses, so it is very important to you strive to do this one correctly.
English Name: Seated Forward Bend
Sanskrit Name: Paschimottanasana
- Sit down in straight back position
Do the Pose
- Raise your arms up into the air, your neck long and your gaze focused in front of you.
- Slowly bend your upper body down using your hips. Don’t let your back slouch and keep your legs still.
- Bring your hands to your feet, ankles or as far as you can reach.
- Hold this Pose for 5-10 breaths
- Remove your hands from your feet or ankles and stretch them out above them.
- Slowly lean back, raising up to Staff Pose.
Tips for Beginners
- Keep the toes pointed upwards through the execution of the yoga pose
- Always work within your comfort zone. Don’t force yourself to forward to the point where your legs and forehead touch if it is painful to do so. The same goes with aiming to touch your toes or ankles.
- Whenever you feel your pubis and navel is shortening or experiencing a slight pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to raise upwards slightly. Come back down again when you’re comfortable to do so.
- Calms the mind, relieving the practitioner from fatigue and mild depression
- Stretches the hamstrings and spine
- Improves digestion and stimulates the liver and the kidneys
- Relieves the symptoms of menstruation and menopause
- Relieves headaches
Be careful when you have the following:
- Back pains/injury
- Consult with the doctor first if it’s safe to do this posture. If given consent, seek the help of a registered and experienced yoga teacher to help you do the posture correctly. Consult an experienced Prenatal Yoga teacher to check if you can do this pose while pregnant.
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