Paschimottanasana or “Pashchimatanasana” means ‘stretching the posterior region’. In Sanskrit, paschima means ‘posterior’ and tana means ‘stretch’. In this posture almost all the posterior muscles of the body are stretched, hence the name Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend Pose. Sit on the ground by extending the leg. Prepare hooks by bending the index fingers of both the hands and catch the corresponding big toes. If found difficult hold the ankles by the respective hands. Now slowly bend the trunk forward by relaxing the neck muscles. Touch the knees with the forehead. Maintain the position for some time, if possible. Release the posture and come to the starting position. Repeat the asana, if necessary. Doing a few seconds of this asana gives the benefit of running 3 miles.
Paschimottanasana : Stages for Practice
Starting Position: Sitting with the legs extended together
- In a sitting position, stretch out the legs to the frond, and keep the feet together stretched out, the arms parallel to the legs.
- Body must be straight and slightly bending forward. Keep the head erect.
- While breathing in bring the arms closer to the chest and touch armpits with the the thumbs.
- While breathing out, bend the body forward and stretch out the hands and touch the toes.
- Try to touch the knees with the head.
- Remain there 4-6 second, suspending the breath.
- Inhale and come to the original posture without taking long rest .Repeat 3-6 times.
Benefit of Paschimottanasana
- It gives maximum posterior spinal stretching.
- Loosens the muscles of the spine.
- Increases the elasticity of the spine.
- Eases constipation and gastric trouble.
- Increases digestive power.
- Gives intra-abdominal compression.
- Reduces fat from the region of the stomach.
- Gives the body a graceful figure.
Image Credit ==> Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)