Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Asanas should be performed with extreme cautions, when they are performed daily they help body to attain suppleness and flexibility.
Uttanasana or standing forward should be performed in following manner;
- Stand in Tadasana or the Mountain Pose.
- Place your feet hips width apart, parallel with your toes pointing forwards. Pull your kneecaps upwards. As you do so you hall feel your legs strengthen and stretching.
- Breathe in; stretching your spine upwards from the tailbone to the top of the head and raise your arms straight above your head, placing them shoulder width apart. With palms facing each other.
- Breathe out; extending your body and arms forwards hanging by the hips. Now lean forwards with your chest to flatten out your back. Slowly now bring chest and abdomen down onto the front of your thighs placing your forehead onto your kneecaps or your shins.
- Place your palms down on the floor besides the feet, with the fingers pointing forwards.
- Now gently push your palms into the floor and bring front of your body close in front of the legs, and top of the head facing the floor.
- Hold this posture and breathe normally. You can easily feel the stretch up the legs, from the heels to the buttocks bones, and even feel the stretching of the spine downwards from the tailbone up to the head.
- To come out of this posture bend your knees, breathe in and raise the body and arms vertically. Breathe out and lower your arms to the position they were in and straighten your legs.
Benefits of this asana are:
- Helps in the toning up of the leg muscles.
- Improves blood circulation in upper body.
- Tones up the abdominal organs.
- Produces a calming effect on the body but yet energizes the body.
- Increases the blood transfusion into the upper most part of the lungs that due to our daily routine and gravity as this is the upper most part is less perfused with blood as compared to the rest of the body.
- Also helps in increasing the blood flow into the brain. And nourishes the cells in brain.
Cautionary measures that are a must in this asana are:
- Forward bends must be avoided if you are having eye problems.
- Do not attempt this asana if you are suffering from high or low blood pressure.
- Approach with care if you are suffering from lower back problems or sciatica.
- While performing this asana if your palms do not touch the floor place them around the ankles or on the back of your legs, whichever is the most comfortable.
- Keep your legs as straight as possible and while breathing out pull on the ankles or the legs, extending the elbows out to the sides. Bring the front of the body closer to the front of the legs.