Yoga Pose of the Week: Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) is an excellent yoga posture for anyone who has hamstrings 🙂
I especially love to go into Uttanasana after a long run!

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  1. Start in Mountain Pose with your feet right under your hip bones. Be sure your knees are not locked and firm your front thigh muscles. On an exhale, begin to fold forward at the hip joints, bringing your belly and chest to your thighs.
  2. Keep your spine long and relax your shoulders.
  3. Let your tailbone reach up toward the sky.
  4. Bend your knees if you are feeling any discomfort in your lower back.
  5. Your hands can rest on the floor next to your pinky toes or against your legs.
  6. Do not roll the spine to come up. Instead bring your hands back onto your hips and lengthen your spine. Press through the legs and come up on an inhalation with a long front torso.

Benefits of Uttanasana

  • Strengthens and stretches spinal muscles, relaxes the lower back
  • Lengthens and stretches hamstrings, stretches and tones the backs of the legs
  • Relaxes the whole body
  • Improves functioning of the liver, spleen, and kidneys
  • Simulates the digestive system
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Reduces fatigue and anxiety
  • Relieves headache and insomnia

Cautions for Uttanasana

  • Low back problems – be extremely careful of bending at the hips only as far as is comfortable, and be careful coming out of uttanasana as well
  • Late pregnancy – practice with modifications or skip
  • Glaucoma – not recommended
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