Prasarita Padottanasana (Intense Spread Leg Stretch)
This asana is also known as the wide leg forward bend. This asana can thus be performed in following way:
- Stand in Tadasana or the Mountain pose.
- Place your feet around 4 to 4.5 feet apart from each other, keeping them parallel to each other and pointing in forwards direction. Pull your kneecaps up, with the help of the thigh muscles you can easily feel the stretch and pull on your hamstrings.
- Breathe in and extend the spine upwards from the tailbone to the top of the head. Now lift and open the front of the body.
- Breathe out extending your body forwards, hingeing your hips. Now lead with your chest to flatten the back, bringing the body to a horizontal position so as it is parallel to the floor.
- Now place your hands with your palms touching the floor directly below your shoulders with the arms straight and the fingers pointing forwards.
- Breathe in and raise your head and look forwards. Place your hands back in line with the feet, palms on the floor, shoulders width apart and fingers pointing forwards.
- Breathe out bend your elbows back below the body making a right angle with the arms. Extend the body and spine downwards and bring the top of your head down onto the floor, below the body. Push your palms into the floor, keeping elbows bent then lift your shoulders and push your tailbone up towards the ceiling.
- Breathe normally. On each breathe out stretch and extend the body further down into the posture.
- Breathe in raise your head and body to the horizontal with arms straight and the palms on the floor below the shoulders. Breathe out, move the feet closer together by pointing in the toes then heels until feet are together. Breathe in raise your body and head vertically; breathe out move toes and heels to bring the feet together and relax your arms to the sides.
The benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana or the Intense spread leg stretch are:
- It helps to open up the chest and the hips.
- It increases the circulation in upper part of the body.
- It aids in improvement of digestion.
- Helps in the stretching of the legs and thigh muscles.
Precautionary measures that must be followed while performing this asana are:
- This asana should not be performed if you are suffering from high or low blood pressure.
- Avoid forward bend if you are suffering from any eye problems.
- Should not be practiced if you are suffering from slipped disc.
- Also should be performed with care if you are suffering from head, ear or neck problems.
- Go into the posture slowly and also come out of it as slowly and one must not rush into or out the posture. As it may result in occurrence of various types of back problems.