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Standing Forward Bend Yoga Pose – Uttanasana

uttanasana-standing-forward-bend

Uttanasana

[oot-tahn-AHS-anna]

In standing forward fold our relationship to the Earth is re-established. The heart is elevated over the brain and the highest part of our physical body joins the lowest. As our solar plexus is turned upside down, the ego is turned on its head. By aligning the modesty of our posture with a sense of appreciation at heart center, we can foster a sense of acknowledgement and gratitude to the earth that may spill into our everyday lives.

 

Benefits of Uttanasana

  • Increases flexibility in the spine, hips, and the backs of the legs.
  • Creates traction for the spine.
  • Has a calming effect and reduces anxiety.
  • Massages the abdominal organs such as the adrenal glands and kidneys.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you have high blood pressure or have had recent abdominal surgery.
  • Take a very gentle approach if you suffer from sciatica.
  • Use modifications if you suffer from low back pain or hamstring tightness.

Step-by-Step

  • Hinge from the hip crease, tilt the rim of your pelvis forward, and bend your knees to bring your torso forward.
  • Bring your palms on the floor in front of your feet and lengthen all the way from your tailbone to the crown of your head.
  • Feel length on the front and the back side of the body (although a gentle rounding in the spine is only natural).
  • Release your spine toward the earth. Feel space between the vertebrae.
  • Feel space between your hips and your ribcage.
  • Relax your shoulders, neck, and facial muscles.
  • Feel the vertebrae opening on the back side of your body. Breathe into these spaces. Discover freedom and spaciousness there.
  • Slowly roll back up to mountain pose.

Preparatory Poses

Counter Poses

DD-Laura-Variation