Paschimotanasana, Back-stretching Posture, seated forward bend pose, Pashchim Uttan Asan, Pashchima Uttana Asana, Paschimottana, Paschimotana, Pashchimottanasana
Literally translated as "intense stretch of the west," Paschimottanasana can help a distracted mind unwind.
How to reach the stretch
- From Staff Pose - Dandasana bring the arms straight out to the sides and up over your head.
- Inhale and draw the spine up long.
- As you exhale, begin to come forward, hinging at the hips.
- On each inhale, extend the spine and on each exhale come a bit further into the forward bend.
- Keep the neck the natural extension of the spine.
- Do not round the back.
- Take hold of the ankles or shins, whichever you can reach.
How to release the stretch
Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. To come up, release the hands, straighten the elbows and lift the torso away from the thighs, inhale and lift the torso up in a flat back by pulling the tailbone down and into the pelvis and engaging the abdominal muscles
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
- Stretches the spine, shoulders and hamstrings.
- Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus.
- Improves digestion.
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort.
- Soothes headache and anxiety and reduces fatigue.
- Therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis.
- Traditional texts say that Paschimottanasana increases appetite, reduces obesity, and cures diseases.
- Not for the people who have the problem of asthma and diarrhea.
- Back injury: Only perform this pose under the supervision of an experienced teacher.