PASCHIMOTHANASANA – THE SEATED FORWARD BEND POSTURE

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Description :

In sanskrit, Paschima means west and  Uttana means intense stretching. In this asana the posterior portion of the whole body from head to heels is fully stretched.

Health Benefits :

  • Tones up the abdominal organs and keeps them free from sluggishness
  • Tones the kidney, rejenuates the spine
  • Improves digestion
  • Decreases excess weight around the belly
  • Due to extra stretch given to the pelvic region more oxygenated blood is supplied and the gonads receive sufficient nutrition
  • This helps to cure impotency and is also useful for sex control
  • Helps in spiritual attainment
  • Tones the nerves supplying the pelvic organs and arising from the lumber sacral region of the spine

Considerations :

  • People suffering from slip disc should not practice this asana.
  • People suffering from severe back ache should not practice this during pregnancy and menstruation.

Step 1 :

Sit down with your legs stretched. The legs lie side by side and the toes point upwards. Stretch your lower back and raise your arms. Look forward, lengthen your back, and keep the chest and your breathing free.

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Step 2:

Slowly bend forward, stretch your crown upward and try not to lose the supporting dynamism of the lower back. See to it that your legs do not move or tilt.

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Step 3 :

The moment you notice that you can only bend further by bending the lower back, move your hands to your lower legs, ankles or feet. Lightly pull your legs, ankles or feet and continue stretching.

Keep your shoulders down. Breathe in and out across the entire length of your spinal column deeply and in a relaxed way. Everytime you exhale, you should bend further towards your legs without losing the length in your back and the dynamism in the lower back. When you lose the dynamism in the lower back, you will notice that you lose a major part of the stretching and you will have a hard time breathing.

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Step 4 :

Stretch out your arms forward.

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Step 5:

Slowly raise your upper body. Keep your legs lying side by side and the toes pointing upwards.

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Step 6:

Sit straight up again, just like your original position.

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Note :Try to relax as you perform this forward bend and do not pull your feet forcibly. When you pull too hard, the body hardens itself, your thinking and breathing become unquiet and you run a risk of injuring yourself.

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