Paschimottanasana (full)

Asana name: Forward Bend Pose

Sanskrit name: Paschimottanasan

Meaning: Forward Bend Pose

General Benefits:
It stretches the muscles of the back side of the body from head to the ankles. It contracts the muscles of the anterior part of the body. This creates pressure on the thorax and abdomen, improving the process of respiration and the functions of the intra-abdominal glands, especially the secretions. Improves the flexibility of the lumbar region, the hips and thigh (back side of thighs and calves). Improves the blood circulation in the back region and tones the spinal nerves. Improves alignment of the vertebral column. Removes the fat from the hips, the abdomen and thigh region. The nadis are purified. Helps to activate the kundalini shakti.

Benefits for Women:
Menstrual disorders

Therapeutic Applications:
Weak digestion, sluggish liver, diabetes, colitis, kidney problems

Taking the Position:
In sitting position Inhale. While exhaling hold the big toes with the corresponding hands. Exhale, slowly bend forward keeping the back straight, bringing the forehead towards the knees or shins. Maintain the asana, breathe normally.

Releasing the Positions:
Exhale and while inhaling raise the body from the hips. Return both hands beside the body returning to sitting position.

Anatomical Focus:
Abdomen, entire back, hamstrings

Anatomical Awareness:
Focus on lower back, abdomen

Hold the toes with the hands, keeping the legs straight. Bend forward in the waist. Try to touch the forehead to the knees and elbows to the ground.

Bend the knees. Arch the spine whilst trying to bring the forehead to the knees.

Precautions & Contraindications:
People who suffer from slipped disc or sciatica should not practice this asana or those who have had recent abdominal surgery.

Variations & Tips:
If there is a lot of tightness in the hamstrings and gluteus maximus there will be some restriction in hip flexion. This causes the hip flexors and abdominal muscles to contract to lower the body to the knees causing congestion. Instead a blanket can be placed under the buttocks.

Preparatory Poses:
Ardha Paschimottanasan. Vajrasan Yoga Mudra Type 1 and 2. PM 6 and 9. Grinding the mill movement 5 times each direction. From sitting spread the legs apart, straighten the arms in front and clasp the hands. Slowly rotate as if grinding a mill. Repeat in t

Follow-up Poses:
Ardha Padma Bandhasa. Ugrasan.