How to Achieve the Perfect Standing Forward Bend

Ardha Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend is a highly beneficial pose. It is part of the sun salutations and helps to maintain proper alignment in the spine and hip joints. Although still a very active pose, it can be used as a resting pose between sequences. 

Young woman doing yoga in the park in a forward bend pose - Forward Bend Pose - Yoga - ILYNSI Yoga

Benefits

  • Reduces stress by soothing the spinal nerves and slows down the heartbeat
  • Offers a cooling effect on the mind 
  • Relieves abdominal pain
  • Reduces excess weight in the abdominal region 
  • Improves digestion and constipation
  • Makes the spine supple 
  • Stretches hamstrings, hips, and spine
  • Strengthens thighs and knees

The Pose

  • From Mountain Pose, inhale and raise both arms toward the sky
  • Exhale as you hinge from the hips to forward fold bringing your fingertips down to touch the floor
  • Straighten you legs and arms as you lift your chest up away from your legs
  • Broaden across the front of your chest along with a slight backward bend in your upper back as you draw your stomach in
  • Rotate the pubic bone down and the tailbone up
  • Inhale to lengthen your spine then exhale for a deeper forward fold
  • Attempt to bring the forehead to the shins, keeping the chin tucked in
  • Beginners variation: hands to ankles, shins, knees, or a block. Or, bend the knees until the chest is against the upper thighs, slowly straightening the legs. 

Breaths: Aim to hold for 1 to 5 breaths

Avoid: If you have lower back issues. Also avoid shifting your weight backward so that your hips are behind your heels 


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