Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Pose
In this asana, we basically bend forward in a systematic way to touch the toe with our hands. Initially, it could give a lot of stress to the body, one should only bend as much as possible, do not strain.
Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your hands on your hips, exhale, and slowly bend forward using the hip joints rather than the waist. First, place your hands on the thighs and feel the stretch at least for a few minutes, if you feel comfortable move your hands to knees and feel the stretch for a few minutes, if you feel comfortable, again move your hands to the lower part of the legs (shin) and feel the stretch, again if you feel comfortable, try to touch your toes with your fingertips. Once you are able to touch the toes with fingers, try to touch it with your hands. Arch your upper back with your stomach sucked in to reduce pressure on the back muscles.
In the final pose, your should be able to rest your hands on the ground and put your face in between your legs. Do remember, in the entire practise your legs should be erect, you will definitely feel pressure on the calf area of your legs due to muscles stretching.
You can also perform this pose with knees bent and hands supporting on the thighs until you feel comfortable straitgheting the legs.
To come back into the standing position follow the reverse process of coming down, first hold your shin, then knees, then thighs, and then stand completely. Do not do any sudden movement, else, it will hurt you.
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- Stretches and relieves tension in the the hips, hamstrings, calves, spine, neck, and back.
- Keeps your spine strong and flexible
- Strengthens the thighs and knees
- Slow down the heartbeat and calms the mind.
- Activates the abdominal muscles
- Good for menopause, asthma, headaches, and insomnia
- Stimulates the kidneys, liver, spleen
- Improves digestion
Avoid this asana if you have:
- Lower back problems or you have a back or hamstring injury.
- High blood pressure.
- A late term pregnancy.
- Eye or ear infection.
[highlight]It is advisable to perform any asana in the supervision of a qualified yoga instructor.[/highlight]