Open up this week with this Wide-Legged forward fold in our classes and with your home practice!
By practicing Prasarita Padottanasana we are stretching and strengthening our inner thighs and the back of our legs. If practiced gently, this pose can help to relieve mild backache and has been said to tone the abdominal organs.
That being said, if you do have issues with your lower back, don’t go all the way into the full forward fold and keep your knees slightly bent as Sinead is demonstrating in the below picture.
Uttanasana – forward fold (above)
Supta Baddha Konasana – reclined bound angle pose
Trikonasana – triangle pose
Step by Step guide
Stand in Tadasana at the front of your mat and step back with your left leg by over a leg length’s distance. Turn your body and feet to face the side of the room and turn both your feet so they are parallel with each other. Here you can check your foot function, roll weight both into the outside edges of both your feet and also through the base of the big toes, whilst at the same time as drawing up through your inner ankle to lift the inner arches of your feet.
Bring your hands to your hips and draw your elbows in towards each other behind your back. Inhale and feel yourself lengthen along your spine through to the crown of the head, as you exhale tilt your pelvis forwards and draw your breastbone forwards to lengthen down. You can bend your knees on the way down, especially if your lower back is sore. You want to be careful here to only go as low as you can by bending through the hips, try your best not to bend along your waist or upper torso. Then land your hands either on the floor or on bricks just underneath your shoulders.
As you inhale lift your chest forwards and draw your shoulder blades in towards each other so that you know you’ve got a lovely flat spine. Keep that length as you exhale, only go lower if you can keep length to your torso and straightness to your spine. Feel your sit bones spread apart and lift away from your heels to help get breadth to your sacrum and lengthen the backs of your legs.
If you’re feeling good here, you can start to walk your hands back so that they are in between your feet and lengthen your elbows further backwards, keeping them in line with the hands. Hands should be actively flat to the floor beneath. If you’re feeling that you can take this pose further without harming or curving the spine, lengthen the elbows back so that the forearms are perpendicular to the floor. If you still feel there’s room to move in posture, you can rest the crown of your head on the floor, although make sure to keep the weight bearing through your feet and hands here.
Stay in Prasarita Padottanasana for 6 breaths or longer. Then when you feel ready, draw your hands to your hips and inhale to lift yourself to upright keeping your spine long and strong and elbows trending inwards behind the back. If you suffer from soreness in the lower back keep your knees bent as you come out of this pose. Step to the front of the mat with your left foot, back to Tadasana.