Standing Forward Bend -Uttanasana
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.
- 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.