Paschimottanasana or the Seated forward bend pose is a seated yoga pose. This asana helps in stretching your entire back and also opens up your hips.
Seated forward bend pose steps, benefits and precautions
The name Paschimottasana is made of three sanskrit words.
- ‘Paschima’ meaning back
- ‘Uttana’ meaning stretch
- ‘Asana’ meaning pose
How to do seated forward bend pose?
Here is a step by step guide on how to do the seated forward bend pose or paschimottanasana.
To set your body for the seated forward bend pose, sit straight on a yoga mat/floor with your legs stretched straight out in front of you. Your arms should be on the sides of your body.
Ensure that your toes are stretched towards your body in this step.
Take a deep breath and raise your hands over your head. Ensure that your body is extended in the upward direction.
Exhale and bend to the front. Do not bend your back. You should bend your body from the hip in the step. Take your hands as far as you can in the forward direction. If possible, try and touch your toes.
Try to activate the muscles in your thighs by pulling up. At the same time, draw your abdomen in as well.
Do not stretch too much. Please bend only to the extent where it is possible to do this without any pain or discomfort.
Try and place your head on your legs with your arms on the side of your legs, if possible. Try and hold the pose for 5-10 breaths. Relax your shoulders so that they move away from your ears.
While you are in this pose, keep your legs straight. Keep your neck in the position where it is an extension of your spine. At the same time, don’t round your back as it can cause strain.
Take a deep breath and get back to the position in step 2. Now exhale and lower your hands to the starting pose in step 1.
Benefits of the seated forward bend pose
- Paschimottasana provides an intense stretch to your back and helps in opening up your hips.
- It helps in increasing your body’s overall flexibility.
- The seated forward pose can also help in reducing stress and helps in calming you down.
- It also helps in stretching your hamstrings.
Precautions and contraindications
- Paschimottanasana should not be practiced by people who have breathing issues like Asthma.
- If you are suffering from any back or neck issues like injuries, you should consult an experienced yoga practitioner before starting your practice.
- Anyone suffering from diarrhea should avoid this pose.
- This pose should only be practiced to the extent where you can stretch without any discomfort or pain.