Forward Folds

restorativeforwardfold

Pictured Above: Supported Wide-Angle Fold or Restorative Upavistha Konasana

Forward Folding Encourages Good Posture and a Calm Mind

Forward folds are definitely challenging for the average person. I think it is safe to say that our inability to forward fold is due to working  jobs that require extensive periods time spent sitting at desks or standing on our feet. Asanas(poses) that encourage flexion of the spine, essentially turn our backs to everything around us and encourage the shift from the outside overstimulating world to the inside place of stillness and reflection…

Hunched over desks with with improper posture weakens the supporting muscles groups in the back which help keep our spine healthy and erect. Poor posture often leads to a posterior tilt in our pelvis (picture tucking your tailbone way under and curving your spine forward). Our muscles in our hip flexors, legs and lower back have started to become short and tight and are quickly losing the mobility we once had in our youth. However, on the bright side, we can reverse these effects by incorporating props that support the body. Without these modifications, the integrity of the spine in a forward fold may become compromised, by a posterior pelvic tilt.  When forward folding always think, length in the spine followed by slow increments of forward folding directly from the hips. Remember don’t let tight hamstrings keep you from folding forward… You can always start out  your fold by keeping a slight bend in the knees, then with practice and patience, the hamstrings release and the legs regain further extension and length.

Some Forward Folds to Try for Yourself:

  • Uttanasana/Standing Forward Bend
  • Upavista Konasana/ Wide-Angle Pose
  • Paschimottanasana/Seated Forward Fold
  • Janu Sirsasana/Half Bound Angle Pose
  • Kurmasana/Tortoise Pose
  • Parsvottanasana/Intense Stretch Pose
  • Balasana/Childs Pose
  • Prasarita Padottanasana/ Wide Legged Forward Bend
  • Baddha Konasana/Bound Angle Pose
  • Padangusthasana/Big Toe Pose
  • Audho Mukha Svanasana/Downward-Facing Dog
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