Seated Forward Bend Pose

Name: Seated Forward Bend Pose
Sanskrit: Paschimottanasana
Pronunciation: pah-shee-moe-tah-NAHS-ah-nah
Pose Level: Intermediate

First, sit on the mat or on the floor and stretch your legs forward; keep your back straight and relax.

Inhale slowly and raise your arms above your head. Then, exhale and flex your torso gradually forward starting the movement from the hips. Movement must be slow and effort must be avoided. The back must always remain straight.

Lower yourself as much as possible with the trunk until you reach your limit; at this point, relax your back, shoulders, neck and head. If possible, place your elbows on the ground next to your legs.

The back muscles must be relaxed. Breathe deeply and try to bring the trunk as close to the legs as possible.

Stretch the spine well and keep the knees straight and the legs straight. Particularly contract the quadriceps.

Try to grasp the soles of your feet with your hands. If you can't reach that far with your hands, grab your toes or ankles or even your calves or knees. In any case, you must avoid efforts and maintain a comfortable position, proceeding gradually.

This is the final posture.

Breathe normally and try to stay in Pashimottanasana for about a couple of minutes or as long as possible.

To return to the initial posture phase, relax your back and arms by placing your hands on the ground, then lift your back until you return to a sitting position.

Helps to relax the mind and reduce stress while improving concentration;
    Massages and tones the pelvic and abdominal area;
    Improves digestion and reduces constipation; 
    Thanks to the intense lengthening, it increases the flexibility of the hips and the spine;
    It helps promote sleep and treat insomnia;
    Counteracts hypertension;
    Due to the increased blood flow in the abdominal area, many organs present here are oxygenated and stimulated more effectively (liver, kidneys, spleen and reproductive organs);
    Helps to decrease genitourinary and prostate problems.

Pose Modifications

If you can't reach your fingertips, you can bend your knees and put a bolster under them, or you can use a yoga belt as an extension between your hands and feet. Another variation is to place the hands on the ankles or on the shins.
    You can place a yoga block, meditation cushion or even a bolster under your buttocks, it will help you tremendously.


It is important to avoid the practice of Paschimottanasana in some cases:

    during pregnancy, especially if advanced

    if you suffer from asthma

    if you have recently undergone back or abdomen surgery

    if you suffer from diseases related to the spine, such as slipping of the intervertebral discs

    if you suffer from sciatica.

Poses Commonly Transitioned too:
Halasana, Plow Pose
Poses Commonly Used Before Hand:
Staff Pose, Dandasana

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