Monday, October 11, 2010

Pose of the Week - "Paschimottanasana"

What is it about seated forward folds that feels so yummy?  Especially, when used as a counter stretch.  Forward bends are calming and soothing to the nervous system.  They bring deeper internal awareness.  They release tension by opening up the entire backside of the body: hamstrings, buttocks and lower back.  They also improve digestion and increase circulation to lower extremities, to name just a few yummy benefits. The KEY to this pose *lead with your heart rather than your head.  Maybe we should also make this the key to life in general.  In fact, I think I'll try it tomorrow.  What does my heart want to do?  Dance in a field of flowers with my husband (whose been away for 4 days!), eat strawberries dipped in chocolate and laugh at his jokes until my belly hurts......
Okay, sorry back on track!

1.  Sit tall, press hands down into floor, draw lower back inward and upward
2.  Inhale bring arms over head lengthen spine
3.  Exhale grab big toes with index and middle fingers.  Press big toes forward while resisting back.
4.  Inhale and extend lower belly thru top of head. Slide hands to outside of feet, widen elbows and draw sternum toward toes.  Keep legs straight and active.  *Lead with heart not head.

Modification for tight hamstrings / lower back:  Sit on folded blanket to elevate hips.  Use strap around feet.
Variation:  For deeper lower back release, bend knees taking the hamstrings out of the equation and puff kidneys to back of mat, rock gently side to side.
Dristi ("gazing point"):  Toes (or shins)

FALL into your FORWARD FOLDS like never before.....enjoy the yummy!


  1. Love this pose and I miss your face. Will hopefully get to see you soon. Pencil us in for 11/13 weekend.