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Top 10 Health Benefits of Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose) and How to do it?

Paschimottanasana, Seated-Forward-Bend-Pose

Table of Contents:

  1. Meaning of Paschimottanasana(Seated Forward Bend Pose)
  2. How to do it?
  3. Variations
  4. Consciousness
  5. Duration
  6. Beginner’s tips
  7. Benefits of Paschimottanasana(Seated Forward Bend Pose)
  8. Precautions and Contra-indications
  9. Preparatory Poses
  10. Follow-up Poses
  11. Counterposes

Meaning of Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)

PASCHIMOTTANASANA (पश्चिमोत्तानासन) is also known as ‘ SEATED FORWARD BEND POSE’.

‘PASCHIM’ means ‘WEST’ or ‘BACK’, ‘UTTANA’ means ‘INTENSE STRETCH’, and ‘ASANA’ means ‘POSE’.

Let your body fit and healthy by practicing this asana.

How to do it?

Step#1 Sit on the mat, keeping your legs stretched in front of you.

Step#2 Inhale and take your arms upwards. Make sure you’re facing forward and keeping your head, spine, and arms in line.

Step#3 Exhale completely: Bend and fall forward from hip joints such that your navel goes towards the knees.

Step#4 Slightly raise your head, lengthen your spine, and go little bit more forward.

Step#5 Let your head rest on your legs, bend your elbows, and hold the big toes.

Step#6 Remain in this position for a few seconds and breathes normally there.

Step#7 Come back to the initial position, following the steps in reverse order.

This is how you’ll do paschimottanasana (Seated Forward bend pose).

See the below video for practical purpose:

Variations

Variation-1:

Gatyatmak Paschimottanasana (Dynamic Back Stretch Pose)

This is one variation of this pose. In this variation, you’ve to lie down on your back with the feet together and palms facing upwards. Arms should be above the head and on the floor.

Go to the sitting posture of paschimottanasana with your hands straight above your head. Then we’ll repeat the steps of Paschimottanasana.

Variation-2:

Pada Prasar Paschimottanasana (Legs spread back stretch pose)

In this variation, one has to sit with the legs spread as wide as possible, interlocking the fingers behind the back.

Then we’ve to turn the trunk to the right, raising the arms up behind the back and touching the head to the knees. Repeat the same steps on the other side and to the centre as well.

Variation-3:

Janu Sirshasana

In this Variation, you’ve to sit with your legs outstretched. Then, bend the left leg and keep it against the perineum and the sole of the foot inside the right thigh.

Now, Bend forward on the right leg and grasp the right foot (Possibly the big toe with index finger, middle finger, and the thumb of the left hand.) and outside edge with right hand.

Also, touch your forehead to the knee. Remain in this position as long as you feel comfortable. Come back to the initial position following the steps in reverse order.

Consciousness

We should stay at the ultimate position for a while and should meditate on breathing, or on those parts where you feel stretched.

You’ll feel a stretch at the following points:

  • Calf muscles
  • Hamstrings
  • Vertebral Column
  • Swadhisthana Chakra (Sacral Chakra)

Basically, the entire body gets a wonderful stretch.

Duration

One can remain in the posture for a few seconds initially and then gradually increase the time to 5 minutes for general benefits.

Beginner’s Tips

Beginners may not touch the head to the legs. But do not worry about that.

Go as far as you can. By regular practice, it can open one’s hamstrings, calves, etc. and then you’ll be able to go further.

Benefits of Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)

Following are the few benefits of this asana:

1) Fat Burn

People do a lot of things to burn the belly fat but with no result. But this pose can give you flat tummy. What needed the most is strictly practicing this pose.

2) Hamstrings and calves

Are you suffering from tight hamstrings and calf muscles? Do you face problem while sitting in Vajrasana for a long time? Then, here is a solution for that. Get relieved from the pain just by practicing this asana.

This posture gives intense stretch to your hamstrings and calf muscles, giving you relief from tight hamstrings and calf muscles.

3) Pelvic region

This posture helps in reaching ample blood to the pelvic region, relieving the problems like menopause, infertility, etc.

4) Stress

Practicing this asana makes you calm, stress-free, healthy, rejuvenated, peaceful, etc. These are the positive outcomes which came from reaching the blood to the brain.

Besides, it helps in anxiety and depression.

5) Abdominal Organ

Those who are suffering from abdominal ailments must practice this asana. Activate your internal organs like Kidney, Liver, Pancreas, intestines, gallbladder.

This asana alone has multiple benefits which is good for both physical and emotional wellbeing.

6) Spine

Helps in spine elongation and its flexibility, relieving back pain, stiffness, tension or stress, etc. This asana also stretches the entire body from head to legs.

7) Pregnancy

This will be good for those women who have delivered their child recently. This Pose will encourage healing to any kind of lower body parts.

8) Fit and Healthy

To make ourselves fit and healthy, we do varieties of things like going to a gym, dieting, etc.

But this asana will reduce the excessive fat accumulated around your abdomen, thighs, calves, etc. helping you in losing weight.

9) High Blood Pressure

Are you suffering from High Blood Pressure problems? Then, this pose will help in controlling that. Besides, this pose is good for curing insomnia.

10) Digestion

Get your problems related to digestion cured by practicing this asana regularly.

We take a lot of Churna (Powder) to make our digestion work properly, but this asana helps in getting relieved from that even taking no medicine.

Precautions and Contra-indications

  1. Do not pressurize yourself if you’re not able to touch your head to legs. But for advancement, one can do it with a brief pressure to go further, but not on the first day.
  2. If you’re suffering from shoulder, neck, spine injury, etc. then do not practice this asana.
  3. In the problems like Asthma, diarrhea, etc. one should not do this posture.
  4. Practice this asana under an experienced yoga instructor.
  5. One should do it after at least 3.5 hours of eating. But I recommend doing it in the early morning when the bowels are empty.
  6. Sit on blanket or bolster if your hamstrings are tight.
  7. Avoid this asana in pregnancy, or suffering from the problem of sciatica.

Preparatory Poses

  • Uttanasana (Standing forward Bend Pose)
  • Balasana (Child’s Pose)
  • Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-knee Forward Bend)
  • Setu asana (The Bridge)

Follow-up Poses

  • Ardha matsyendrasana (Half Spinal twist)

Counterposes

  • Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  • Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

You came to know everything about Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose). Now, it is the time to practice this asana and making yourself healthy and fit.

BE HEALTHY AND MAKE OTHERS HEALTHY! — This is what we’re trying to do.

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