Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Although many might see it as simply touching your toes, seated forward bend pose can be a deeply relaxing position. As you fold forward, a sense of calmness comes over the mind, helping to relieve stress. Furthermore, as the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings are stretched, deeply held tension is released from the body.
Here’s how you can perform seated forward bend pose:
- Sit up straight on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you.
- Keep your feet flexed towards you throughout the pose.
- Place folded blanket or yoga block under your pelvis for support if you’d like.
- Reach your arms up towards the ceiling.
- Inhale and lengthen your spine up.
- While exhaling, bend forward at your hips.
- With each inhale, lengthen your spine straight to avoid curving your back.
- With each exhale, deepen your forward bend.
- Keep your neck as a natural extension of your spine, without craning it up or down.
- Once you’ve bent forward as far as is comfortable, choose to stay there or round your spine forward.
- Grab your ankles or shins if you can.
- Hold here for a few deep breaths before gently releasing the pose.