• How to do Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

    If you’re looking to improve your flexibility, Paschimottanasana is a great pose to try. This seated forward fold can help elongate the spine and release tension in the back and neck. In addition, Paschimottanasana has many health benefits that you can enjoy! In this tutorial, we will show you how to do Paschimottanasana safely and effectively. We’ll also provide some tips on how to get the most out of this pose.

    Before we look at how to do Paschimottanasana let’s look at some of the benefits of the pose.

    Benefits of Paschimottanasana

    There are many benefits of Paschimottanasana, some of which include:

    • Stretching the back and shoulders
    • Stretching the hamstrings
    • Lengthening the spine
    • Improving circulation in the abdominal organs
    • Stimulating the nervous system
    • Reducing stress and anxiety
    • Stimulates the internal organs

    Contraindications for Paschimottanasana

    Paschimottanasana is generally a safe pose for most people. However, there are a few contraindications to be aware of:

    If you have a hernia, Paschimottanasana may aggravate it.

    If you have a slipped disc it’s best to avoid this pose.

    If you have high blood pressure, Paschimottanasana may not be the best pose for you.

    If you are pregnant, Paschimottanasana may not be the best pose for you.

    If you have any other health concerns, please consult your doctor before doing Paschimottanasana or any other yoga poses.

    How to do Paschimottanasana or seated forward bend

    Now that we know some of the benefits and contraindications for Paschimottanasana, let’s look at how to do the pose.

    Paschimottanasana is a seated yoga posture so you will need to sit on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Your feet are flexed. Think of pushing your heels away from your sitting bones.

    Draw your belly in and imagine emptying the inner space of the pelvis.

    Lengthen through the spine and take a deep breath in. On an exhale, begin to fold forward from the hip joints, keeping the spine long. Don’t round your back to bend forward.

    You can place your hands on your knees, ankles, or feet. If you can’t reach your feet, place a strap around the soles of your feet and hold onto the strap.

    Keep the spine long as you fold forward, letting the head hang heavy. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for five breaths. To release the pose, slowly roll up to seated on an inhale.

    Tips for Paschimottanasana

    Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Paschimottanasana:

    Keep the spine long as you fold forward. This will help to lengthen the spine and release tension in the back and neck.

    Engage your quadriceps to help release your hamstrings.

    Don’t hyperextend your knees.

    Breathe deeply into the posture. This will help to relax the body and mind.

    Paschimottanasana is a great pose for improving flexibility and releasing tension. With some practice, you’ll be able to get deeper into the pose and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer! Watch the video with Kino to find out more about the pose.

  • How to do Padchimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)

    Padchimottanasana is the basis of every forward fold in your practice. It’s important that you establish a healthy technique from the beginning. Think about opening your hips and hamstrings as you try this pose.

    Start out sitting on the mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Keep your shoulders rolled down the back and your belly sucked in. Lift your spine up out of your pelvis.

    Activate your thighs by squeezing them toward each other. The quadriceps should be completely engaged.

    Now think about your forward fold coming from deep inside your pelvis. Exhale slowly fold, lifting your torso over your thighs and hinging at the hips.

    Suck your belly in, creating a hollowness there. Now reach down and hold onto your toes. If you can’t reach your toes you can reach for your shins or even put your hands next to your legs on the floor.

    Inhale and lift your head to look up. Make sure to continue to suck your belly in. Now exhale and relax your back so you fold in toward the top of your legs.

    Stay here for five breaths. Every time you exhale try to fold a little further into the spaciousness of the body. Every exhalation should take you deeper into the posture.

    If you need to deepen the posture wrap your hands around the soles of your feet and hold onto your wrist with one hand.

    You don’t want to force yourself into this posture because you could risk injuring your hamstrings. Instead, allow yourself to melt into the pose. Flexibility is a journey that takes time. Be patient and allow your muscles to lengthen and release on their own.

    To come out of the posture, slowly come up.

    Healthy technique in this pose requires three basic things: active firm strong legs, finding the hollow space in the pelvis, and elongation of the torso. Get those three components and you can do this pose. Your flexibility will increase over time as you practice the pose.

    Watch this video with Kino for more details about doing Padchimottanasana.