Seated forward bend pose

Paschimottanasana

Categories:
Forward bend, Hip opener, Relax

The seated forward bend pose stretches and lengthens the back of the legs and back of the body, while strengthening the abdomen in the front of the body. This can help you feel calm and relaxed.

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Step by step explanation

The seated forward bend pose can be done by

  1. Begin sitting down with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  2. Sit upright with your torso, while you keep the legs stretched. If your lower back is rounding a lot or if you feel the tension in your hamstrings, bend your knees until you are seated upright, or sit upon a cushion or blanket.
  3. Inhale and lengthen your spine, while bringing your lower belly and chest up, and simultaneously drawing your shoulders down and back.
  4. Exhale and bend forward from the front of your hips, and place your hands on either side of your legs. Keep lengthening and extending the front of your body forward.
  5. Place your hands alongside your legs, shins, ankles or feet – whatever is accessible with your current flexibility. Your feet want to stay flexed and active to allow the stretch to extend towards the back of your knees and legs.
  6. Stay here for a few long and deep breaths.
  7. Avoid rounding the back too much and instead with every inhale focus on reaching your chest forward. Try moving a little deeper into the forward bend with every exhale by folding a little further forward from your hips.
  8. Keep your gaze looking out towards your feet, as you hold this position for few more deep breaths.
  9. Slowly come out of the pose by gently lifting the torso back into an upright sitting position.

Suggested preparation poses

Suggested follow-up poses