How to do Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Uttanasana, or standing forward bend, is a fundamental yoga pose that is often repeated in your yoga practice. Even though the pose might seem simple at first, there are a few things to remember when you attempt it. In this post, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions for doing the pose.

Before we look at how to do uttanasana, let’s look at the benefits and contraindications.

Benefits of uttanasana

The benefits of standing forward bend include:

  • Stretching the hamstrings, calves, and hips
  • Strengthening the thighs
  • Improving circulation in the legs
  • Calming the nervous system

Contraindications for uttanasana

There are a few contraindications to consider before doing this pose. If you have any of the following conditions, please consult your doctor before practicing standing forward bend:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine

How to do standing forward bend

Start in mountain pose (tadasana) at the front of your yoga mat.

Engage the quadriceps to gently pull the kneecaps up. Don’t let your knees be hyperextended.

Lengthen through the spine.

Inhale and raise your arms overhead, keeping your shoulders down away from your ears.

Exhale and hinge forward at your hips, keeping a flat back. You can place your hands on the ground, on blocks, or on your shins. Let your arms hang down and grab opposite elbows if you can’t reach the ground.

Stay in the pose for 5-10 breaths. To release the pose, inhale and lift your torso back up to standing.

Now that you know how to do uttanasana, give it a try!

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