Standing Forward Fold/Bend
Image of Maggie Anderson taken by Morayo Sayles
Second image courtesy of yogajournal.com
Forward Fold is one of my favorite starting poses for my yoga practice. We come into this pose, allowing our whole upper body to relax. Letting it all go. Gently rocking from side to side. Releasing all tension, letting it all roll off our backs. Not only is it calming, it’s also very beneficial for our hamstrings, the backs of our thighs. Allowing your knees to slightly bend to begin and gently straightening the legs when you are ready. This is a great pose if you have anxiety or just need to breathe and be for a moment. And if you are just too tired, you can do this pose sitting in a chair. Always options and modifications. Just honor the wisdom of your body always.
Directions on how to come into the pose:
Stand in Tadasana (Mountain) with your feet together or walking distance apart, spine upright, hands in Namaste at your heart. Inhale, arms all the way up, exhale and swan dive down to the ground, knees bent or straight when you are ready. For beginners, keep the knees bent. Take hands to opposite elbows so you can be in a Ragdoll variation of this forward fold pose. Allow your whole upper body to relax down. Breathe and let it all roll off your back. Rock from side to side, nodding your head yes and know or doing figure eight’s, like I like to do. Then relax down.
To deepen this pose and increase the stretch in the backs of the legs, lean slightly forward and lift up onto the balls of your feet, pulling your heels a half-inch or so away from the floor. Draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis, and then, from the height of the groins, lengthen your heels back onto the floor.
Hold for a few more breaths or until ready. Then roll up nice and slow, one vertebrae at a time, round your spine as you roll all the way up. Head will come up last. Or reverse swan dive arms out and up as you come up with a straight spine and long front torso.
Close your eyes in Mountain pose and breathe. Scan your body, notice what you need to notice. See what you need to see, without judgment.
When not to do this pose or to modify/Contraindications:
If you have a back injury be sure to modify this pose. Bend your knees or perform with your hands on the wall, legs perpendicular to your torso, and arms parallel to the floor.
Check out my calendar for group yoga classes dates and time.