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Methods to Do Seated Ahead Bend (Paschimottanasana) in Yoga

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Additionally Identified As: Intense Dorsal Stretch

Targets: Hamstrings, calves, again

Stage: Newbie

Seated Ahead Bend (Paschimottanasana) is a traditional pose from Hatha yoga. It offers the entire again of your physique an excellent stretch, out of your calves to your hamstrings (again of the thighs) to your backbone.


This pose stretches these areas and helps open up your hips. This stretch is great for runners who are likely to have tight hamstrings. Like many yoga poses, additionally it is thought of to be a chilled pose. It’s mentioned that ahead bends might help relieve stress and even enhance your temper.

Step-by-Step Directions

Start by coming to take a seat in Workers Pose (Dandasana) together with your legs straight in entrance of your physique.

  1. Convey your arms straight out to the perimeters and up over your head, reaching towards the ceiling.
  2. Inhale and draw your backbone up lengthy.
  3. As you exhale, start to return ahead, hinging at your hips. Think about your pelvis as a bowl of water that’s tipping ahead.
  4. On every inhale, lengthen your backbone. You could come a bit out of your ahead bend to do that.
  5. On every exhale, deepen into your ahead bend. Think about your stomach coming to relaxation in your thighs, somewhat than your nostril coming to your knees. This may show you how to preserve your backbone lengthy.
  6. Preserve the neck because the pure extension of your backbone, neither cranking it to search for nor letting it go fully.
  7. When you will have come to your full extension with the backbone lengthy, determine whether or not you wish to keep right here or let your backbone spherical ahead.
  8. Grasp your ankles or shins, whichever you may attain. You can even use a strap round your toes. Preserve your toes flexed strongly all through.

Widespread Errors

Preserve your knees aligned and don’t enable them to prove. If that occurs, it lessens the stretch of of your hamstrings and places the stress nearer to your joints.

Preserve your again straight for so long as you may within the pose. This may show you how to get full breaths.

Modifications and Variations

There are two faculties of thought on the subject of rounding your again, not simply in Paschimottanasana however in seated ahead bends typically.

Everybody agrees that it is best to do the primary a part of your ahead bending together with your again as straight as potential in order that your fold comes from deepening your hip creases, not collapsing your again. This methodology takes you from sitting upright to the purpose the place you may’t go any additional with out letting your backbone spherical ahead.

Some lecturers imagine that that is precisely the place it is best to cease your trajectory. You retain your backbone lengthy, your breath going, and simply abide.

The opposite strategy is to let your backbone spherical at this level. This normally will get you to a superficially deeper ahead bend or at the very least a spot the place you may loosen up a bit.

You do not have to pledge your allegiance to 1 or the opposite. Strive each and see which one makes extra sense to you, or alternate between the 2.

Finally, or if you’re very open within the hamstrings now, chances are you’ll get to a spot the place your torso is mendacity absolutely in your legs together with your backbone straight anyway.

Want a Modification?

Put padding (a blanket or bolster) beneath your seat if it is onerous for you to sit up when your butt is flat on the ground.

When you have issue reaching all the best way to your toes, place a yoga strap round your toes and grasp it with each fingers. You may additionally bend your knees sufficient so you may attain your toes together with your fingers.

Up for a Problem?

For those who can simply seize the soles of your toes, strive taking a block behind your toes and holding that as an alternative.

Security and Precautions

Keep away from this pose when you’ve got an harm to your arms, hips, ankles, or shoulders. Do not pressure your self on this pose. In case you are too tight to get a lot bend, simply do what you may with out ache.

As a result of this pose compresses the stomach, it will not be comfy on a full abdomen.

Strive It Out

Incorporate this transfer and related ones into one in every of these well-liked exercises:

  • 10 Easy Yoga Workout routines to Stretch and Strengthen
  • Traditional Restorative Yoga Poses
  • Methods to Do Half Ahead Bend (Ardha Uttanasana) in Yoga

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