The Wide Leg Forward Bend Pose, Prasarita Padottanasana, is a foundation standing yoga pose. Wide Leg Forward Bend Pose opens and deepens your yoga practice. Wide Leg Forward Bend Pose allows us greater hamstring flexibility in our yoga asana. Wide Leg Forward Bend Pose is a strong standing yoga posture. Wide Leg Forward Bend Pose is also one of the foundation poses in our closed hip family of yoga standing postures. Apart from the hamstrings and back body that opens generously in this pose it is also a mild inversion as the head is below your heart.
Wide Leg Forward Bend Pose also shares the same hip alignment position, such as revolved triangle pose, hand to big toe standing balance pose, revolved extended side angle pose. This family of standing poses shares the same hip position which faces the front of the room. However with Wide leg forward bend pose we face the side but that is only because of how our mats are positioned. However, the hip position is still the same. Please see Intense Side Stretch pose in our blog series.
How to perform the Wide Leg Forward Bend Pose:
Stand facing one of the long edges of your yoga mat. Step you’re feet a comfortable straddle distance apart. Rest your hands on your hips. Make sure your inner feet are parallel to each other. Lift your inner arches by drawing your inner ankles up, and press the outer edges of your feet and ball of the big toe into the floor. Engage the thigh muscles by pulling your knee caps up. Lift your chest.
Now lean your torso forward from the hip joints. As your torso approaches parallel to the floor, press your fingertips unto the floor directly below your shoulders. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor and parallel to each other. Move your spine evenly into a lengthened state. Keeping the back of the neck long, and direct your gaze to a point where you can maintain the integrity of your elongated spine.
Keep your top thighs straight back to help lengthen the front torso unless your hamstrings feel tight then consciously keep both knees bend while you elongate your spine. As you maintain the length of your back, walk your hands between your feet. Bend your elbows and lower your torso and head into the full forward bend.
Press your palms into the floor, fingers pointing forward. If you have the flexibility to move your torso into a full forward bend, be sure to keep your arms parallel to each other and broaden your shoulder blades across your back. Draw your shoulders away from your ears.
To exit, bring your hands back on the floor below your shoulders and lift and lengthen your heart. Breathe easy and bring your hands onto your hips, draw your tail bone down toward the floor while bringing your torso upright.
Contraindications and Cautions:
Please always take care with any yoga pose. Make sure if you suffer from any physical condition that you either consult a qualified and trained yoga teacher or else a medical professional, before attempting any yoga pose.
Preparatory Poses for Wide Legged Forward Bend Pose:
Downward Facing Dog
Forward Bend Pose
Intense Side Stretch Pose
Benefits for Wide Legged Forward Bend Pose:
- Stretches your spine and hamstrings
- Strengthens your legs
- Stimulates your abdominal organs
- Calms your mind