88/100 ~ Wide-legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Podattanasana) – Here’s a pose that will really boost flexibility in the legs, hips and spine. Releasing the upper body to hang effortlessly adds to the benefits of this pose. Relax your head and shoulders, and let gravity do its thing.
Benefits: This pose releases tension in the neck, shoulders and upper back to relieve headaches, fatigue and anxiety. It stretches and strengthens the ankles, legs and spine; relieves back pain; stimulates internal organs; and calms the mind. It can even reduce mild depression.
How to: Step the feet wide on your mat with the toes pointing forward. Press into the feet and stand tall. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale hinge forward at the hips allowing your upper body to drape toward the floor. Engage your leg muscles and lift the knee caps, continuing to press into the feet. Let your hands rest on the floor, on yoga blocks, or your legs. Relax your head and shoulders, and breathe deeply. Hold this pose for 3-6 breath cycles. To release the pose, bring your hands to your hips. Keep your chin tucked to your chest as you inhale and slowly rise up, allowing your face to show last. Step the feet together and stand in mountain pose (day 2) for a few breath cycles.
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