Uttanasana is a standing forward bend pose in modern yoga that works as a very powerful stretching exercise. The asana is supposed to work wonders for your body flexibility and improves your overall well being.
Standing forward bend pose steps, benefits and precautions
The meaning of the word Uttanasana is derived from three Sanskrit words.
- ‘Utta’ meaning intense
- ‘Tana’ meaning stretching
- ‘Asana’ meaning pose.
The meaning of the name literally is an intense, stretching pose.
How to do standing forward bend pose?
Here is a step by step guide on how to do the standing forward bend pose or Uttanasana.
Just like all standing yoga poses, the starting point for Uttanasana is Tadasana or the Tree pose. To get into the position for Uttanasana, get into Tadasana and stand completely erect on the yoga mat.
Keep your hands on your hips and take a few deep breaths.
Breathe out and bend forward. Ensure that you are not locking your knees in this position. You also have to take care that you are bending from your hips and not from your upper back.
This would be possible only if you move your buttocks and tailbone in the backward direction a little bit.
Keep your feet flat on the floor and without bending your knees, bring both of your hands forward & down till they rest on the ground. In this position both of your feet must be completely grounded and parallel to each other.
You will feel a complete stretch in your back and hips when you are in this position. At the same time you will also feel a stretch in your hamstrings and calves.
Do not try to push your neck towards your knees with too much force. This can lead to sprain in your neck which will hinder your practice in future.
Allow your head to float freely without any strain in your neck. Keep your eyes straight so that you are looking between your legs. Hold the pose for a few breaths.
To release the pose take a deep breath and raise your hands. Keep your hands on your hips and lift your body in a straight position slowly. Please ensure that you are not bending your upper back while you are getting up to the straight position.
Keep breathing normally and relax.
Benefits of doing the standing forward bend pose
- Since the practitioner brings his head below the level of his heart during this yoga pose, it helps in improving blood flow to your brain and refreshes the mind.
- The asana helps in complete stretching of your calves, hips and hamstrings.
- It also helps in improving your overall digestion.
- With increased blood flow to different parts of the body, Uttanasana helps to calm your mind and reduces anxiety and fatigue.
- Standing forward bend pose helps in stimulating your internal organs like liver and kidney.
- For people suffering from issues like headache and insomnia this asana is very beneficial.
- With standing forward bend there is an improvement in flexibility and strength of your legs, knees and thighs.
- Uttanasana also provides better flexibility and improves the overall health of your spine.
- For people suffering from issues like low blood pressure, regular practice of this yoga asana leads to better health.
Precautions and contraindications
- Anyone who is suffering from a bad injury should avoid practicing the standing back bend asana as it can further aggravate the injury. For people who have any sprain in their back, it might be helpful to practice the yoga pose with their knees in a bent position.
- If you have a leg injury you should avoid practicing Uttanasana as it can make the injury worse.
- If you suffer from issues of Sciatica you should not practice this yoga pose.