Forward Fold

(Uttanasana)

Level: Easy

Benefits: Calming, reduces nervous tension, improves digestion, stretches back and legs, stimulates liver and kidneys.

Cautions: Back injuries (do the pose with knees bent). High Blood Pressure (don’t lower your head below your waist).

How To

bamboo-yoga-01
Fig. 1 Fig. 2
  1. Stand in Mountain Pose, inhale and lengthen the entire body.
  2. Bend your knees a little and as you exhale bend forward from the hips (not the waist). Keep lengthening through the front of your body and bring your fingers towards the floor.
  3. Draw your abdomen towards your thighs, broaden and lift your sitting bones.
  4. Slowly straighten your legs if you feel ready for a stronger back stretch.
  5. Hold for 5 or more breaths feeling the muscles releasing with each breath.
Modifications
  • If the backs of your legs are tight – keep hands on waist and lower your torso half way down or place your hands against a wall for support
Variations
  • Padangusthasana – Take hold of the big toes with the fingers as you fold forward
  • Padahastasana – Lift toes and place your hands – palms up – under feet.
  • Sequence: Inhale and flatten your back as you lift your body away from your legs (fig 1) exhale as you lower your body down towards your legs again. (fig 2)