Yoga Pose Breakdown | Seated Forward Fold, Paschimottanasana

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 7.15.03 PM Sanskrit Name: Paschimottanasana (POSH-ee-moh-tan-AHS-anna) Paschimottana = intense stretch of the west (pashima = west) uttana = intense stretch)

Get Started: :: Sit down :: Extend your legs long or bring a bend to your knees :: Remove any flesh from under your sit bones and pull it back :: Engage your feet and inner thighs :: Lift your arms over head :: Extend your arms toward your feet; it's not a problem if you do not reach them :: Option to lengthen your spine forward or round your spine for a more restorative pose :: Allow your belly to touch your inner thighs and release your crown of your head toward your feet :: On your inhale back out a little bit, on your exhale work deeper :: Option to use a blanket under your sit bones in this pose

Benefits: Seated Forward Fold helps calm the brain, relieving stress and mild depression. It stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries and uterus. It stretches the hamstrings, spine and shoulders, while being therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia and sinusitis. It improves digestion, helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort. It soothes headaches and anxiety and reduces fatigue. 

Contradictions: If you have a back injury, only perform this pose under the supervision of an experienced teacher. Be careful practicing this pose if you have asthma or diarrhea.

Know your asana: Traditional texts say that this pose helps increase appetite, reduces obesity and cures diseases.

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