Wide Seated Forward Bend
March 26, 2015
Wild Thing Pose
March 26, 2015

Wide-Legged Forward Bend

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Prasarita Padottanasana
(pra-sa-REE-tah pah-doh-tahn-AHS-anna)
prasarita = spread out, expanded
pada = foot, leg
ut = intense
tan = stretch

BENEFITS

  • Stretches the groins, hamstrings, and back muscles
  • Opens the hips
  • Brings fresh, oxygenated blood to the head
  • Relieves mild depression

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Lower back pain
  • Spine injury

HOW TO

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain pose), facing the long edge of your mat.
  2. Step your feet wide apart, around 4-5 feet depending on your height. Make sure the inner arches of your feet are parallel. Firm the big toes and outer edges of your feet into the mat.
  3. Bring your hands to your hips. With an inhale, open your chest toward the sky to lengthen your torso.
  4. Exhale and fold forward at the hips, maintaining a straight back and open chest. Bring your hands to the floor beneath your shoulders, fingertips aligned with your toes.
  5. Inhale and engage the core to lengthen your torso. Exhale and fold deeper, reaching the crown of your head toward the mat while lifting your sitting bones toward the sky.
  6. If you feel comfortable here, broaden the shoulders, bend the elbows, and clasp your big toes with your index and middle fingers. Rest the crown of your head on the mat.
  7. Hold this pose for five breaths. On an inhalation, rise to standing and step the feet together. Return to Tadasana.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

Modifications:

  • Place blocks on the floor to support your hands if you cannot reach the ground.
  • Rest the crown of your head on a block or blanket.
  • If your back is tight, focus on coming halfway down into the posture.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

  • Sirsasana II (Tripod Headstand)
  • Tarasana (Star pose)

TEACHING CUES

  • Make sure your feet stay parallel to one another.
  • If possible, release the crown of your head to the ground.
  • Continue to lengthen the spine.
  • Be careful to not lean forward. Keep your hips aligned over your ankles.

VARIATIONS

  • Come into Sirsasana II (Tripod Headstand).
  • Bring your hands into Reverse Prayer and hinge forward.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Hands not reaching the floor
  • Excessive weight on the heels
  • Locked knees
  • Feet turning out, creating an external rotation in the legs