Yoga Poses: Paschimottanasana
Take special precautions while doing any asana. If you are learning yoga, then take the advice of a knowledgeable person. Do not put any kind of force in the event of pain or unable to do so. Keep in mind that you will be able to succeed only with constant practice.
Brief Introduction Of The Paschimottanasana
- Those who are interested in practicing yoga poses for the nervous system find the Paschimottanasana really useful. Indeed, this is a powerful pose that targets the nervous system, and all related organs. In the long run, this yoga pose supports in relieving from depression and mild stress. Generally, yoga is performed to witnesses calmness and a stress free life. However, not all poses are meant to deliver these benefits. There are very specific yoga poses like Paschimottanasana to achieve this. This pose is widely known as the “Seated Forward Bend Pose”.
- The name “Paschimottanasana” carries lots of meaning and insight about this yoga pose. For instance, the phrase “Paschi” means the back of the human body or west. And, the term “uttana” translates to intense stretch. Finally, the term “asana” means pose. Together, the term “Paschimottanasana” gets coined.
- An interesting variation of this yoga pose would be the Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana. This pose involves the balancing of the legs and hands. Both the legs and hands need to point in an upward direction.
How To Do The Paschimottanasana?
The Paschimottanasana is a four stage yoga procedure.
- To begin with, you need to sit down calmly on your buttocks. Both your legs need to be stretched in front of you. Give your left heel a tight but gentle press. Then, rock towards your left buttocks. The body needs to be supported by the right hand. This step has to be repeated on your right heel and buttocks, with the support of your left hand. Meanwhile, the top part of your thighs have to be pressed onto the floor. Then, press through the finger tips or palms onto the ground. This is when the sternum needs to be lifted upwards. Soon, you will notice that the top portion of the thigh starts to descend.
- In the next step, the inner groin has to be pulled more towards the pelvis. Ensure that the groin goes as deep as possible. The front torso has to be kept as long as possible too. Meanwhile, don’t forget to breath. Use your hip joint and lean forward. Never focus on the waist.
- If the above step is performed successfully, you can consider pulling the sides of your feet. Ensure the elbows are comfortably extended, and the thumbs have a good grip of the sole. At all instances, your elbows need to be straight, and never bent. When you are prepared to venture deep into the Paschimottanasana pose, don’t burden yourself or force the body. Always keep your head upright. And, the front torso has to be of good length. In case you have opted to hold the feet, now would be the best time to loosen the grip. Bend the elbows carefully in an outward movement. Then, lift the elbows away and above from the ground.
- Every time you inhale, the torso needs to be lengthened. When you exhale, move a little forward. This oscillates the torso. And, the torso becomes longer with every move. With practice, you will be able to move your arms and grab beyond your feet. The above pose needs to be maintained for 2 to 3 minutes. To release yourself from the Paschimottanasana pose, the torso has to be moved away from the thigh. Next, the elbows need to be straightened. As the last step, you have to lift the torso, inhale and pull the tailbone into the pelvis.
Benefits Of The Paschimottanasana
- As mentioned previously, the Paschimottanasana pose helps in calming the body’s nervous system. In the long run, this post increases the need for introspection. This is because the pose stretches the spinal cord, which is a crucial element of the nervous system. When the spinal cord stretches, more gap is created. This increases the flow of blood and soothes the entire system. If Paschimottanasana is performed on a daily basis, you will be able to rediscover yourself.
- The backside of the body is hardly explored. Fortunately, the Paschimottanasana pose handles this problem. It ensures that the backside of the body is stretched as much as possible. If you are suffering from stiffness in the back, or severe back pain - this yoga pose will be extremely helpful. The seated and forward bent position ensures that the entire back is engaged. Those who practice this pose regularly experience a drastic change in the overall flexibility of the body.
- This pose is a great way of toning internal organs. Just like many other yoga poses that involve folds and stretches, the Paschimottanasana boosts the flow of blood to various organs in the body. This involves the kidney, pancreas and intestines. It also triggers the metabolism of the digestive system.
- An inevitable benefit of the Paschimottanasana pose would be its ability to calm the mind. It works by diverting fresh blood to the brain. Thus, the chances of anxiety, depression and unnecessary worries is reduced drastically. When all the energies in the body is harmonized, you are less likely to feel stressed or depressed.
- Finally, you can use the Paschimottanasana pose to get rid of tightness and tension around the hamstring. A major reason behind tightness would be the way you sit. And, when you choose to sit in a specific position for a long time, it will result in stiffness. By engaging in the Paschimottanasana pose, you can avoid this problem.
Precautions To Be Taken While Doing The Paschimottanasana
- The Paschimottanasana pose needs to be avoided if you have had lower back injuries.
- People with diarrhea must not perform this yoga exercise. It can worsen the condition.
- The bend taken should be within your comfort zone. Never over exert yourself during the bend.
- Always get into the Paschimottanasana pose as slowly as possible. Gradually changes in pose will help in realizing the actual benefits of the Paschimottanasana.
On the whole, Paschimottanasana is another great yoga pose for divine peace and calmness of the mind. This is a powerful exercise that heals the body too. From removing tightness to strengthening the spine - the Paschimottanasana is a great daily practice.
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