Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
- Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with legs hip-width apart, arms alongside the body and weight evenly balanced.
- Take arms upwards in as you inhale.
- Fold forwards from the hips as you exhale.
- Place palms on the floor underneath your shoulders if you can, else let them hang down as far as they will go.
- Tuck your chin in gently towards your chest, so that the crown of your head is pointing towards the floor.
- With the feet firmly rooted into the floor, encourage a growth in two directions as you breath:
- With each inhalation, grow upwards from the feet, lifting the tailbone as high as you can.
- With each exhalation, relax the body and allow gravity to draw the upper half of your body closer towards the ground.
- When you are ready to come out, slowly build yourself back up to Mountain pose.
- A great way to lengthen the spine.
- Stretches the muscles in the back of our body, all the way from our heels to the top of our head.
- Gently stimulates the digestive organs.
- Relaxes the central nervous system.
- The gentle inversion uses gravity to:
- Send venous blood back to the heart
- Stimulates the lymphatic system.
- Make it easier for the heart to send oxygenated blood to the brain
- Allow the knees to bend a little if the back of the body, particularly the hamstrings, are very stiff.
- There are a number of options available regarding the hand positions. For example, they could be on the shins, ankles or calves instead of on the floor.