POSE: Standing Forward Bend
SANSKRIT NAME: Uttansasana
BENEFITS: stretches hamstrings and spine, can benefit scoliosis, stimulates the lymphatic system, stimulates the digestive system
HOW TO: from Tadasana, hinge at the waist and bend forward, reaching the fingertips toward the floor or grasping the backs of the legs. Tilt the pelvis forward and draw the lower belly in to create extra length in the backs of the legs. Keep a soft bend in the knees to prevent locking the knees. The feet can be together or hip distance apart, whichever is most comfortable for you. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
MODIFICATION: Standing Forward Bend with Props
BENEFITS: If you are unable to reach the floor, that’s ok! You can modify this pose with a strap under the feet to help you create length in the spine and hamstrings. Or you can use a block or chair to bring the floor to you.
CHAIR YOGA OPTION: Seated Forward Bend
BENEFITS: If you struggle with fatigue or have difficulty balancing, you can modify this pose with a chair. This will also lessen the intensity of the hamstring stretch.
HOW TO: Come into a seated position away from the back of the chair. The feet are flat on the floor, ankles directly below the knees. Hinge at the waist, reaching for the floor with your fingertips. Let the chest rest against your thighs and relax the head and spine. Hold for 5-10 breaths. To come up, press the palms of the hands into your thighs and slowly rise.
Ready to incorporate this pose into your practice? Try this video…