Posted by on 7/22/2021 to Let's Talk Yoga!
Standing Forward Bend Yoga Poses. Benefits of + Example Asanas
Forward pushups have many benefits, both standing and sitting. They help the back to stretch and create space, lengthen and soothe the hamstrings and promote calm and introspection. There are tons of variations with a range of secondary benefits, but they all follow the same basic principles. Let's look at what unites them and what we need to be careful of for a good practice.
Forward bend benefit
The common aspect of all forward bends is to create a stretch in the posterior structures of our body, from the heels to the top of the head. The meridian of the posterior superficial muscle develops along this line, connecting and protecting the entire posterior surface of our body. The muscles involved in this important chain have an important postural function: they support our upright position and allow the extension of the back. This means I'm at work all day. If they are underdeveloped, the body will tend to lean forward. If they are too stiff there will be a tendency to lordosis and back stiffness.
The forward bends have the function of releasing the tension along the tissue of the posterior superficial muscle, in some areas or along its entire path. In addition, they help tone the abdominals, if we engage them for breathing, and compress the abdominal organs by stimulating circulation in that area.
Generally, their priority is the lengthening of the back, especially in the lumbar area and in the structure of the pelvis, which take on the load of the whole trunk. Depending on the type of stretch, you can decide to emphasize the stretch also in the upper back (dorsal and cervical) or in the legs (hamstring and calves).
A list of the most common and general benefits of forward bends:
they lengthen the entire posterior chain by lengthening the spine and improving alignment and posture
they calm the mind and help relieve stress
they primarily stimulate the kidneys, but also the liver, spleen, pancreas, intestines and genitals
they relieve headaches, insomnia, states of anxiety and high blood pressure
they relax quickly and give peace, calm and tranquility, especially those seated
To get the best benefits from these positions it is always useful to insert them in a balanced sequence that considers their counter positions and, especially for those with back problems, of asanas that help tone the muscles that I am going to stretch with these.
If you have problems with discs and vertebrae, you must be careful and choose the safest ones, but, inserted in a balanced practice, these positions go to enormously relieve and, in many cases, to solve back problems.
Examples off standing forward bend yoga pose
Uttanasana, Standing Forward fold
Let's see, step by step, what is the correct practice of Uttanasana.
Starting point is Tadasana, the position of the mountain.
Inhale, raise your arms and exhale bend forward, keeping your legs straight. During the push-up, try to push your torso forward and create space between your pelvis and breastbone. If you practice recently, you may not be able to do the push-up with your legs straight: no problem, bend your knees.
Listen to your body and respect your limits. So, when you get to what is currently your upper limit with your torso, try to touch the mat with your palms and try to relax your head.
At this point, push your feet down and bring your butt up, trying to straighten your knees. All very gradually and delicately, do not force and do not force yourself.
Breathing in, push your hands onto the mat, stretch forward and lift your torso by stretching the spine. Try to look forward, but be careful not to strain your neck too much.
As you exhale, relax your upper body and lean forward as much as possible. In this position you can take a few breaths or you can repeat the two salient phases: inhalation / tension of the spine forward, exhalation / relaxation of the torso downwards.
To return to the starting position, lift your torso with your back straight.
Pyramid Pose, Parsvottanasana.
Start standing on the mat, in Tadasana and separate the feet a little more than the width of the pelvis, put your hands on your hips. Turn the right foot to the side and the torso in the direction of the foot, turn the left foot slightly behind, about 45 °. The hips remain on the same level. Be aware of the weight of the body on the feet, see if there are differences in weight distribution. It is a very useful phase for starting to become familiar with balance and grounding.
Maintain your posture, pushing your feet firmly to the floor, legs straight and back straight, bend forward while continuing to stretch. Bring your torso parallel to the floor and look forward. Do not underestimate the stretching at this stage as it will help a lot in the following steps.
Now bring your hands to the floor on either side of your right foot. Continue to stretch your spine as you push your pelvis and chest down and look forward. The feet are firmly rooted on the floor and the legs do not bend.
Slowly lean forward, without arching your spine. Rest your head on your right knee. Continue to stretch your back by breathing slowly and deeply. This is the final posture. Hold the position for a while, then slowly return to the starting position by pressing on the rear heel. Repeat the Asana on the other side.