Stretch and release your legs, lower back, and more with Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold Pose…
Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold Pose (Prasarita Padottanasana) – also known as Straddle Fold, Standing Straddle, and Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose – is a common yoga stretch, and one of my favorite poses! This pose stretches your hips, hamstrings, and back, and I’ve found it is especially good for lower back pain, as it is much gentler on the back than regular Standing Forward Fold.
You can do this pose with a number of different arm variations, some of which also offer a great stretch for your shoulders, wrists, arms, and upper back.
Along with the stretching benefits, Wide-Legged Forward Fold also helps to relieve neck and shoulder tension, and relax the abdominal organs, and may also help to improve digestion, calm the mind, and provide relief from stress and anxiety.
If you have a recent or chronic back injury, use caution and modify the pose by folding only halfway, then resting the hands on blocks. Be sure to fold forward from the hips, not the waist, keeping the torso long. You can bend your knees if you need to.
How to Do It:
- Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Bring your hands to your hips. Turn to the left and step your feet wide apart. Turn your toes slightly in and your heels slightly out so the edges of your feet are parallel to the edges of your mat. Align your heels.
- Inhale and lengthen your torso, reaching the crown of your head up toward the ceiling. Exhaling, fold forward at the hips. Keep the front of your torso long. Drop your head and gaze softly behind you.
- Bring your hands to rest on the floor between your legs. Keep your elbows bent and pointing behind you. If your hands do not come to the floor, rest them on yoga blocks.
- Shift your weight slightly forward onto the balls of your feet.
- Keep your hips aligned with your ankles, then walk your hands back even further. Work toward bringing your fingers in line with your toes (and eventually with your heels), and bringing your elbows directly above your wrists.
- Strongly engage your quadriceps and draw them up toward the ceiling.
- Lengthen your spine on your inhalations and fold deeper on your exhalations.
- Bring the crown of your head down further, resting it on the floor if possible.
- Hold for up to one minute. To release, bring your hands to your hips. Press firmly through your feet and inhale to lift your torso with a flat back. Step your feet together and return to Mountain Pose.
Find more variations and tips at YogaOutlet.com…