Wide Legged Forward Bend D  -Prasarita Padottanasana D

Step by step

  • From Tadasana, step the feet wide apart, feet as close to parallel as feels comfortable. You are looking for stability and grounding.
  • Lift your inner arches by drawing the inner ankles up. Firm the outer edges of your feet and big toes into the floor. Engage your thighs by drawing them up. Place your hands on your hips.
  • Lengthen your spine and open your chest as you inhale.
  • Fold forward from the hips, keeping your back long and your chest open, as you exhale. Go half-way down with a straight back and place your hands underneath your shoulders onto the floor, or on blocks. Take a few breaths here.
  • If you feel you can still go further with a straight back, on the next exhale, fold deeper from the hips, taking your big toes between your index, middle fingers and thumb, keeping elbows out to the sides, in line with the wrists.
  • In the full forward bend you release the head down, and with a long neck, you can place the crown of the head on the floor.
  • Stay in this pose anywhere between 5 and 10 breaths.
  • To come out of this pose, walk your hands forwards to position them under your shoulders as you inhale, still with a long spine and straight arms. Place your hands on your hips as you exhale and come back up with a straight back, as you inhale. Walk your feet back into Mountain pose.

Beginners tips

  • It is important to keep your back elongated and the front of your body open. If you feel at any point that you start to round your back as you are lowering further down, come back a little. 
  • Integrity and respect for your body’s boundaries are more important than how far you come into the pose.

Benefits

  • Stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs.
  • Strengthens the feet and ankles.
  • Calms the mind.

Watch out for

  • Be mindful not to overstretch your hamstrings. Keep a micro-bend in the knees to prevent over-extension of the knees.

Variations