Step by step • Start in Tadasana/Mountain pose. • Inhale as you raise your arms. • As you exhale, engage your thighs, pull the belly in and up deep from the pelvic floor and bend forward, hinging from the hips. • Place your hands/fingertips on the floor, in front of your feet or next to your feet, or hold onto the back of your ankles or calves. • Keep your hips over your heels as you press your heels into the floor. Roll the top of your inner thighs slightly in. • Let your head hang, keeping the neck relaxed. • Lengthen your spine as you inhale. Soften deeper into the pose as you exhale.
• Bend your knees to maintain length in your spine.
• Internally rotating your thighs will help you to spread your sitting bones, giving you more room to fold.
Benefits • Stretches the back of the legs, the hips and spine. • Strengthens the legs, thighs and knees. • Balances the nervous system, calms the mind. • Improves digestion, stimulates the liver and kidneys. • Can relieve tension in the lower back when practised with bent knees.
Watch out for...
• Prioritize length in your front body over depth in the pose.
• Bend your knees if you feel any discomfort in your lower back. • If you have any back injuries please check with your health professional before practising forward bends. You may need to modify or avoid them depending on your individual condition.
• You can also practise a Rag Doll version of forward bend: • Keeping the legs straight or slightly bent, allow the back to relax and round. Let your head be heavy. • Either allow your hands to rest on the floor or cross your arms hooking each hand in the opposite elbow crease. • From here you might like to sway from side to side.
Alternative Pose Half Standing Forward Fold Ardha Uttanasana
Variation Hand to Big Toe Forward Fold Padangusthasana
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