Find out how to Do Seated Ahead Bend in Yoga (Paschimottanasana)


As a yoga instructor and naturally versatile particular person, I’m usually informed by people who they don’t follow yoga as a result of they’re not versatile. However that’s why you follow yoga! Amongst my favourite poses to extend flexibility is the seated ahead bend, recognized additionally by its Sanskrit identify paschimottanasana. (Pronounced PAH-she-moh-ton-AHS-uh-nuh.)

Seated ahead bend might not appear like a lot in a single nonetheless picture. However what you may’t see is how this stretch advantages so many various elements of your physique.

Paschimottanasana stretches the total bottom of the physique, which is a steady chain of fascia and muscle,” says Stephanie Saunders, vice chairman of health programming for BODi. So it’s a lot greater than only a hamstring stretch.

Learn to discover ways to grasp this helpful fundamental pose.

Seated Ahead Bend (Paschimottanasana): Step-by-Step Directions

  • Begin in workers pose: Sit up tall on the ground together with your legs prolonged collectively in entrance of you, your ft flexed, and your toes pointed towards the ceiling. Your fingers ought to relaxation in your thighs or the ground beside them.
  • Drawing your abs inward and hinging at your hips — not your waist — lean ahead, and slowly stroll your fingers down your legs, towards your ft. Keep away from extra rounding in your again or utilizing your arms to tug your self into the pose.
  • Seize your massive toes, the perimeters of your ft, shins, ankles — no matter your flexibility permits, with out forcing it — and relaxation within the pose whereas sustaining a impartial backbone.
  • Maintain for 5 or extra breaths. With every exhale, attempt to calm down into the posture to get a deeper stretch.

Find out how to Make Seated Ahead Bend Simpler

Paschimottanasana is an intense stretch that may be made comfy for everybody, even newbies. Modifying the seated ahead fold gained’t scale back its advantages however slightly make it extra accessible.

  • “In case you have tightness in your hamstrings or hips, getting a launch in your decrease again may require you to raise your hips (by sitting on a yoga block or folded blanket), or put a bend in your knees,” says Saunders.
  • “If the tightness is in your again, strive reaching out with an prolonged backbone earlier than enjoyable ahead, use a block on both facet of your knees to help your arms, and belief gravity to do the remaining,” she says.
  • You may as well separate your legs so your heels are hip-distance aside. This could go away extra room on your chest and stomach.

Find out how to Make Seated Ahead Bend More durable

paschimottanasana seated forward fold woman

Seated ahead fold is an intense bottom stretch. For these with versatile hamstrings and no lower-back ache, it’s doable to accentuate the posture.

  • Flex your toes with straightened legs, and you’ll intensify the stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Maintain a yoga block in place in opposition to the soles of your ft to deepen the stretch.

Newbie Ideas for Doing Seated Ahead Bend

Paschimottanasana isn’t about depth. Many newbies suppose they should maintain their legs straight and contact their nostril to their knees to “accomplish” this pose.

In actuality, sustaining a impartial backbone and bent knees is safer and simply as “right.” Rounding your backbone to convey your nostril to your knees may cause decrease again ache and compression. As a substitute, concentrate on resting your higher physique in your thighs.

If you start training seated ahead fold, it’s necessary to hearken to your physique and breathe. In the event you can’t keep the posture by means of three lengthy breaths, you might have gone too deep, too quick. Take your time discovering your depth on this pose. Keep, breathe, deepen.

Advantages of Seated Ahead Bend

Paschimottanasana is an easy pose with a variety of advantages.

  • Stretches the bottom of your physique from heels to go
  • Helps promote lengthening of the backbone
  • Creates interior calm by means of breath

Seated Ahead Bend Variations

In the event you’re searching for different sorts of bends that present barely completely different stretches, listed here are some to strive.

1. Standing ahead bend (Uttanasana)

  • Begin on the high of your mat in mountain pose. Inhale, and lift your arms straight up turning the triceps ahead. Exhale, hinge at your hips and attain for the ground.
  • Bend your knees barely, fold your torso over your legs, and lengthen your backbone the entire method down.
  • Deliver both your fingertips or palms to the ground, fingers in step with your toes.
  • Look towards your legs. Spiral your shoulders to the perimeters and away out of your ears.
  • Raise the arches of the ft. Interact the legs by lifting the kneecaps.
  • Raise your tailbone up towards the ceiling as you rotate your thighs inward.
  • Shift your weight barely ahead in your ft so your hips align over your heels.
  • In the event you can, start to straighten your legs.

2. Sure-angle pose (Baddha konasana)

Woman Holds Bound Angle Pose | Gentle Yoga

  • Sit on the ground together with your butt bones straight beneath you. (This retains you from tucking your tailbone.)
  • Deliver the soles of your ft collectively, letting your knees fall to the perimeters. The outer edges of your ft ought to contact.
  • Draw your heels as near your groin as is comfy.
  • Place your thumbs on the balls of your ft, and wrap the remainder of your fingers across the tops of your toes, as if holding an open e book.
  • Sustaining a tall backbone, fold ahead with out excessively rounding your again or letting your knees roll ahead. Maintain for no less than 5 breaths or as much as one minute.

3. Seated broad leg ahead bend (Upavistha konasana)

  • Begin in workers pose: Sit up tall on the ground together with your legs prolonged collectively in entrance of you, your ft flexed, and your toes pointed towards the ceiling. Your fingers ought to relaxation in your thighs or the ground beside them.
  • Open your legs as broad as comfortably doable, together with your ft flexed and toes pointed towards the ceiling.
  • Ensuring to not let your again spherical, hinge at your hips and slowly stroll your fingers ahead. Maintain for 30 to 60 seconds.


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