Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)


 Prasarita Padottanasana or, as we also call it, the Intense Stretch with Feed Spread Wide Apart. This pose will strengthen and stretch the inner and back legs along with the spine. It also tones the abdominal organs, calms the brain and relieves mild backache.

       First Stage

This will be with a concave back version only, but the full pose involves taking your head down with your chest pointed toward the floor. We will start this post by standing at the back edge of the mat and placing two blocks shoulder width apart at the front edge of the mat. Place both your hands on your hips, and step the feet wide apart (getting the legs 90° apart), with the outside of your feet still parallel. Move your thighs back, press the outer edges of your feet down and lift your inner thighs up. Draw your elbows and shoulders back, inhaling and lift the sides of your chest. 

      Second Stage

With an exhalation, bend forward at the hips and place your hands on blocks just below the shoulders. Turn front thighs in, press four corners of feet and lift inner thighs up. Turn your upper arms out (so outer arms move back), extend chest and side-ribs forward and look straight ahead. With these musculoskeletal movements, the back should be concave (ie. concave curve in the lower back is retained). If it's not, then increase the height of the support under the hands or come to fingertips.

      In the Pose

Hold for 30 -60 seconds adn then bring your hands to the floor and lift your torso. Bring hands to hips on an inhale and pull tail bone in while swining torso up. Bring your feet back together.

       Practice Notes

If you cannot reach the floor place a block below your hands. You may also place a block under your feet in order to avoid rounding the back. 

       Contraindications and Cautions

If you suffer from lower back problems do not preform the full forward bend.