Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana
Standing forward bend is a well known posture that's practiced in the Sun Salutation series. In Sanskrit it means to extend. In the pose you are stretching the legs, thighs and spine. While bending forward there is improved circulation, as fresh blood and nutrients are moving down to the brain. This has a very calming affect on the body and mind. It's a very therapeutic posture for many discomforts.
Benefits of Standing Forward Bend
In a forward bend posture the spine takes shape of it's natural form, like in the womb. This is beneficial to the nerves, as it creates space between every vertebra which increases the circulation around the spinal cord.
Forward Bends massage and stimulate the internal organs (kidneys, liver, intestines and pancreas) providing them with fresh blood and nutrients. This improves digestion, lowers high blood pressure, helps those with asthma, infertility, headaches and insomnia. It also helps with any menopausal symptoms and reduces stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue.
This posture stretches and lengthens the hamstrings, calves, hips and leg muscles, keeping them strong and lean.
Any forward bend is good after balancing poses because people tend to hold their breath. It is important to keep length in the spine and to stay grounded with equal weight on both feet to benefit the most. These bends are beneficial to reducing tension, calming the mind and soothing the nervous system. Similar to back bends, forward bends help keep your spine strong and supple.
Steps for Standing Forward Bend
- Stand with feet hip width apart, make sure both feet are parallel on the floor.
- Bend forward from the hips.
- Reach your hands to the floor.
- Keep your knees soft and do not hyper extend.
- Shoulders should be relaxed and away from the ears.
- Head and neck should be completely relaxed.
- Seat bones should move up towards the ceiling, top of the head should move towards the feet.
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