Wide Legged Forward Bend Yoga Pose

Traditional Name : Prasarita Padottanasana

Prasarita – stretched out, expanded, spread, with outstretched limbs
Pada – foot
Ut – intense
Tan – to stretch or extend

Wide Legged Forward Bend Yoga āsana is traditionally a resting āsana, however it takes a while for one to feel the restorative effects of the āsana. This āsana is a combination of strength and surrender in the body and mind. The legs are firmly rooted to the ground and remain strong, the heart hangs downwards and the head rests on the mat allowing for a soothing and calming sensation.

 Wide Legged Forward Bend Yoga Pose

How to do Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Legged Forward Bend Yoga)

  • Begin in Tāḍāsana .

  • Inhaling place the hands on the hips and step the feet wide apart. (see tips for more details)

  • Keep the feet parallel, or the toes turned slightly inwards. The weight should be evenly distributed between both feet.

  • Tighten the legs drawing up the kneecaps.

  •  Inhale and lift your chest and look upwards

  • Keeping the length in your spine, Exhale and place the palms on the floor between the feet.

  • Inhale, raise the head up, and keep the back concave.  roll the shoulders towards the shoulder blades.

  • bring your weight forward to the balls of your feet and align your hips with your ankles. Don’t fall backwards – make sure that the hips are above the ankle and that the buttocks remain in the same space, neither moving forwards or backwards.

  • Pull the shoulder blades up your back – lengthen from the base of the neck to the pelvis.

  • Bend the elbows and rest the crown of the head on the floor.  Ensure that the crown of the head and not the forehead are on the mat.

  •  Lengthen both sides of your torso from your hips toward your armpits.

  • Push the hands into the mat, fingers spread wide. Push the mat forwards with the hands in order to extend the spine even more.

  • Stay here for 5 breaths

  • Inhale, straighten the arms and make the back concave and parallel to the floor.

  • Exhale here

  • Inhale, come all the way up.

Tips for doing Wide Legged Forward Bend Yoga Pose ( Prasarita Padottanasana ):

  • It is tricky to judge how far apart your feet should be in this āsana. If your hamstrings are flexible, your feet can be closer together and if your hamstrings are tight, then keep the legs spread apart. Your feet must not be so wide that you cannot reach both ankles (or the outer blades of both feet) with your hands. You also don’t want your head to be pushed into the floor with no effort. The aim of the pose is to extend the spine. Keep adjusting the distance each time you practice the posture and eventually you will find a distance that is effective for your body.

  • Pay attention to the feet as they are the foundation of the pose.  Broaden the bottoms of the feet. Lengthen the space between the toes and the inner heal, don’t allow the feet to curl inwards.

  • Pull the inner ankle, inner knee and inner thigh upwards.  There is a tendency for some to just push the knees and the legs backwards, avoid this as it will lead to hyper-extension of the knee joint. Consciously pull upwards.

  • To ensure the stability of the legs, attempt to rotate the thighs inwards. This will also allow you to spread the buttocks and spread the lower back. To counter-act the effect of the inner rotation of the thighs, attempt to outwardly rotate the shins.

Modifications 

If you head doesn’t reach the ground, then you can support your head on a padded block, a thickly folded blanket, or a bolster. It is important that the head is supported to get the restorative benefits of the pose.

 

Benefits Of Wide Legged Forward Bend Yoga Pose (Prasarita Padottan Asana)

  • This is one of the first, really intense stretches for the hamstrings that a student will learn. It will tone the backs of the legs and calves. It is useful even for advanced practitioners who wish to warm up the hamstrings. Stiffness in the lower limbs is reduced.

  • This āsana is perfect for understanding the extension of the spine. As the spine hangs, we begin to develop the tools for extending the spine in seated forward bends and back bends.

  • This āsana allows the head to rest and blood to flow to the head. This calms the brain and provides relief from headaches, fatigue and mild depression.

  • Provides/ increases ankle flexibility.

  • Engages the feet allowing you to develop better grip.

  • Calves, knees, thighs gets stretched along with the lower back.

  • Relaxes the shoulder, releases the tension, stress and stiffness from it.

  • Reduces the fat around the waist.

  • Beginners, who wants to practice head stand can practice this to eventually practice proper head stand.(This posture, when practiced regularly gives proper idea as how to place the crown of the head on the floor).

Spiritual benefits of Prasarita Padottan Asana

  • Mooladhara, Swadhistana, Manipura Chakras are enhanced.

  • One can practice Moola Bandha and Uddyana Bandha in this posture.

 

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