Paschimottanasana (Paccimasana, Paschima tana, Seated Forward Bend)
This asana can be performed in following way:
- Firstly sit in Dandasana or the rod pose. With you sitting tall and straight and your buttocks bones balancing the whole weight of your body. And the legs outstretched in front of the body and arms relaxing by the sides of the body.
- Extend your body forwards stretching your hips keeping your head up to flatten your back and bring your head down on the feet. One must remember to bring the head along with hands in one go and also any bent should not be present in the back.
- Place your arms on the outside of your feet or at any position that is comfortable but it must be on the outside of the legs. And relax your arms. Push your heels away from the body, letting your toes pointing towards the ceilings.
- Breathe in stretching and lengthening your spine from the tailbone to the top of the head. Pull the abdomen muscles in and up opening up your chest and extending your body.
- Breathe out extending your body forwards leading with the chin. Try to bring the hips, abdomen and the chest down into the front of the thighs and place your forehead on the shin.
- Try pushing the top of the head away from the body, lengthening the spine and the back.
- Relax your head and shoulders and arms by the sides on the floor.
- Hold this posture for a while and breathe normally on each breathe that is breathed out stretch and extend the body further forwards trying to rest the whole of the front of the body on the legs. Keeping the back as much flat as possible.
- Breathe in and raise he body and the head to the vertical position and breathe out, relaxing the arms by the sides and also relaxing the legs.
Benefits of this asana are:
- Helps in the induction of calmness in the body.
- Induces the toning up of the kidneys and the abdominal organs.
- Improves digestion as well as circulation in the body.
- Since the strengthening of the abdominal muscles is brought about it even helps in increasing the excretion of waste products more efficiently.
Precautionary measures that must be followed while performing this asana are:
- A person must approach with care if he is suffering from any kinds of back problems or sciatica.
- Do not bounce in the posture.
- Perform it slowly and steadily. In one rhythm keeping the alignment of the body as well as the spine in a straight line.