Hello Yogis! We present to you our third part of Yoga Postures for Beginners. Here, we are going to focus all on one specific posture- Wide Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padattanasana in Sanskrit).
Prasarita means “spread out” or “expanded”
Pada means “foot”
Uttana means “intense stretch”
In this posture, there are 4 different variations: A, B, C and D. These forward folds are part of the fundamental asanas in the Ashtanga Yoga system. We are going to break down each variation and with this, you can also integrate these postures into your routine.
The benefits of these folds are that it stretches and strengthens the inner and back legs and the spine. It tones the abdominal organs and calms the brain. It can also relieve mild back aches. Do not worry if you cannot touch the ground with your hands just yet, just keep practicing and all is coming.
Wide Legged Forward Fold A
From the starting position, inhale and lift your chest. Now, exhale and lean the torso forward from the hip joints. As your torso arrives parallel to the floor, bring your hands onto the floor, with your fingertips in line with your big toes (if possible). From here take a deep inhale and exhale your head down the floor. If you are tight in the hamstrings, you may have to walk your hands forward and lean into the palms to get your head to the floor.
Hold here for 5 breaths. Inhale, look up and straighten the arms. Exhale, bring your hands to your hips and inhale, bring your torso back up to a standing position.
Wide Legged Forward Fold B
From the starting position, Inhale and stretch the arms out. Exhale, bring your hands to your hips. Inhale, lengthen your spine and exhale forward fold down and bring your head towards the floor. Keep your chin tucked in towards your chest.
Hold for 5 breaths. Keep your hands on the waist and inhale while coming up to standing.
Wide Legged Forward Fold C
From the starting position, Inhale stretch the arms out to the sides. Exhale interlace your fingers behind the back. Inhale, straighten the arms and exhale forward fold down, bringing the head towards the floor. Keep the arms straight and tuck your chin towards your chest. Eventually, through time and practice, you want your hands to reach the floor.
Hold here for 5 breaths. Inhale and slowly come up to a standing position. Exhale release the fingers.
Wide legged Forward Fold D
From the starting position, inhale hands on hips and exhale catch your big toes with your first two fingers and thumbs. Exhale, forward bend, bring your head to the floor in line with the feet. Hold here for 5 breaths. Inhale straighten the arms and bring your head up.
Exhale and bring your hands to the hips. Slowly inhale back up to standing and exhale back to Tadasana.
Remember to always keep the legs active and engaged. Bringing your head down to the floor is preferred for these postures, but if it’s just not available to you yet, do not worry. Again, with time and practice, your body will open up and these will get easier. This group of postures are meant to clean the entire nervous system and if practiced on a regular basis, it can keep your hamstrings and lower back flexible. We hope you enjoyed learning about these postures. Stay tuned to our blog as we will explore more into the world of yoga. <3
Photo credits: @mana_yoga