Seated Forward Bend
by Jennifer Arnold

pascima = back, west
uttana= extension
asana = pose or posture

instructions:
1. Sit on the ground with your legs stretched straight out in front of you.

2. With your hands on the ground beside your hips, inhale and lengthen your spine up towards the ceiling, reach through your heels and let your inner thighs sink.

3. As you exhale, bend forward from your hips joints and take hold of your feet.

4. Inhale and lengthen your spine, drawing your breastbone away from your navel and creating a slight concaveness to your back body.

5. Exhale and fold forward, keeping length in your spine and strength in your legs, but letting the back body round slightly. Let your shoulders draw back and down, away from your ears.

6. Hold for as long as comfortable with a steady and even breathe. Inhale and come out of the posture.

tips:
1. Often times, tightness in the legs and hips doesn’t allow one to sit up tall with a neutral pelvis. The pelvis tends to tip backward causing a collapse in the chest. If this happens for you, sit up on one or two blankets. This will allow you to “perch” on your sit bones.

2. This same tightness can make it virtually impossible to take hold of the feet without deeply rounding the back and scrunching the shoulders up to the ears. Again, if this happens to you, use a strap to reach your feet as you slowly find length and space in the legs and along the spine.

benefits:
Stretches the entire back body; helps relieve headaches, fatigue, and menstrual cramps; increases focus; restores balance to the nervous system; soothes digestive system; brings a sense of peace and calmness.

BKS Iyengar writes, “In this extreme extension of the back of the body the ego becomes subdued and the mind quiet.”