Saturday, November 6, 2010

The full posture demonstration as well as a modification option. Use the pillow to relieve pressure in lower back and neck.


Sanskrit Name:
Prasarita Padottanasana

(pra-sa-REE-tah pah-doh-tahn-AHS-anna)

prasarita = stretched out, expanded, spread, with outstretched limbs
pada = foot
ut = intense
tan = to stretch or extend (compare the Latin verb tendere, "to stretch or extend")

English Name:
Wide-Legged Forward Bend


To begin:
1. Stand in tadasana:
2. Step or lightly hop your feet 4 to 5 feet apart (depending on your height: taller people should step wider).
3. Rest your hands on your hips.
4. Keeping your feet parallel to each other, lift the inner edges of the arches pressing the toe mounts and outer edges of the feet into the mat.
5. Engage the thigh muscles by lifting the kneecaps.
6. Inhale and lift your chest, lengthening the sides of the waist.
7. Exhale and lean the torso forward from the hip joints.
8. As your torso approaches parallel to the floor, press your fingertips onto the floor directly below your shoulders.
9. Bring your head up, lengthening the neck and spine.
10. Take a few breaths. Allowing your back to rise up in a concave motion bring your hands in toward your ankles.
11. Take a few more breaths and then, with an exhalation, bend your elbows and lower your torso and head into a full forward bend.
12. If possible rest the crown of your head on the floor.
13. Press your palms actively into the floor, fingers pointing forward.
14. If you have the flexibility, try to move your forearms perpendicular to the floor and your upper arms parallel.
15. Make sure to keep shoulders down and into the spine, and lengthen the back.

- Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. -

To come out:
1. Bring your hands back to the floor below your shoulders and lift and lengthen your torso.
2. With an inhalation, rest your hands on your hips, pull your tail bone down toward the floor, and rise up slowly.
3. Walk or hop your feet back into Tadasana.

For video watch:


Physical Benefits
- Strengthens and stretches the inner and back of the legs
- Strengthens and stretches the spine
- Tones the abdominal muscles
- Calms the brain and increases blood flow to upper body

Therapeutic Benefits
- Heals mild backache
- Relieves headache
- Eliminates fatigue
- Helps combat mild depression


I feel very calm in prasarita padottanasana. I think this calming affect comes from being upside down in this pose. My head is resting on the floor in the full posture and that rush of blood to the brain makes me feel refreshed and renewed. When I stretch with my breath I can feel the oxygen flowing in through my head and brain and it's very invigorating. I can also feel the stretch in my back as a lean forward to lead with my heart center. I spend so much of my day sitting in desks or walking around with my backpack on and that ruins my posture. Being able really stretch from the core in - through the back is a nice change and i can feel the muscles stretching and opening up. After i come up and out of this posture i stand up straighter and I can feel that improve circulation through out my whole upper body.

Sunday, October 31, 2010