Seated Forward Bend


5/29/20232 min read

Paschimottanasana (stretching pose)

This pose is close to the end of class, at a point where the body has been worked from every angle and you feel it. It’s the ideal slot for this deep stretch. The winning element is the traction created by the grip on the big toes.

Note that the spine is straight for the set-up (Pic 1). In the full extension (Pic 2), the spine is naturally rounded, stomach touching the thighs. The goal is to touch your head to your feet, stretching forward out of the hips, using your arm strength. Stretching and pulling at the same time, legs straight, elbows next to the calves, even touching the floor if you can.

Challenge yourself to go a little beyond the set-up where the spine is 100% straight, shoulders back. It's not the full extension of the posture if you stop there. You can only go so far with a straight spine, shoulders back, because your hips and legs are in the way. Become unstuck, use your arms to pull the toes back, and allow the curve in the spine to get the full stretch required. You can drop the head down too, looking forward with the eyes.

This posture is very much like Padahastasana (hands to feet) pose close to the start of class (Pic 3). Of course, these things are only possible if you nail the first step - locking the knees. Do the posture step by step and don't be impatient.

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3