Wide Legged Forward Bend / Prasarita Padottanasana
Step by step:
- From Tadasana, step the feet wide apart, about your legs length. Your feet are parallel to each other. Lift inner arches, by drawing inner ankles up, firm outer edge of feet and big toes into floor. Engage your thighs by drawing them up. Place your hands on your hips.
- Inhale lengthen the front of the body, exhale fold forward from the hips, keeping the back straight and the chest open, and keeping the hips over the heels, don’t let the hips move back in the space behind you. Go half way down with a straight back and place your hands underneath your shoulders onto the floor, keeping your arms straight. Maintain the length along the front of the body, neck long and gaze in front of you without compressing the back of the neck. Take a few breaths here.
- If you feel you can still go further with a straight back, on the next exhale you can walk the hands back, as you fold deeper from the hips, keeping your hands underneath your elbows, elbows point to the back, with the forearms perpendicular to the floor and the upper arms parallel to the floor.
- In the full forward bend you release the head down, and with a long neck, you can place the crown of the head on the floor.
- Stay in this pose anywhere between 5 and 10 breaths.
- Important is to keep the back straight, concaved a little perhaps, and the front of the body long and open. So if you feel at any time you start rounding the back to go further down, go back a little to the point where you can do this with a straight back. Integrity and respect for your body’s boundaries are more important than how far you come into the pose. Be careful not to overstretch your hamstrings.
- To come out of this pose, inhale and walk your hands forward to position them under the shoulders again with straight arms and back.
- exhale placing the hands on your hips, Inhale to come back up straight as you press into your feet.
- Come back into Mountain Pose.
Click on Prasarita Padottanasana to find out about the benefits of this pose.