Monday, 21 November 2016

Wide Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Strengthens and stretches the legs and spine
Tones the abdominal organs
Calms the brain
Relieves fatigue and mild depression

* Should not be practiced in case of lower back problems.

Start facing the long edge of your mat and step or jump your feet out wide - about 1 and a half leg lengths.  Your toes should be facing forward, with your inner feet parallel to each other.  Engage the legs by lifting the arches and pressing the outside of the feet into the mat.  Bring the hands to the hips, inhale and lengthen the spine, lifting the chest.  On an exhalation, keeping the torso long, begin to fold forward from the hips.  Bring your torso parallel to the floor and place you hands on the floor (or blocks).  Inhale and open the chest, lifting your gaze and your sternum so your back becomes slightly concave.  Hold here for a few breaths, and then, if it's available to you, exhale and come into a full forward bend, resting your head on the floor if possible.  Press the palms into the mat with your fingertips facing forward. Broarden the shoulders by drawing your elbows in so your forearms are parallel to each other.  Again, think about lengthening the torso, finding space between your ears and shoulders.

Hold here for 5-8 breaths.

To release from the pose, walk your hands back to come underneath your shoulders and lengthen your torso by lifting through the sternum.  Place your hands on your hips, bend your knees slightly, inhale and come back to a standing position. 

Step your feet together to come back to Mountain Pose.

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