Prasarita Padottanasana A
Definition - What does Prasarita Padottanasana A mean?
Prasarita padottanasana a is the first of four positions of this wide-legged forward fold, which involve four different expressions of the arms, although the base of the pose and the posture of the spine remain the same throughout the expressions of the asana.
In Sanskrit, prasarita means “expanded,” “stretched out" or "spread.” For padottanasana, pada means “feet,” uttana means "intense stretch” and asana means "posture" or "seat."
To enter into prasarita padottanasana a, one stands with feet spread wide apart, grounded firmly, and hands on hips. Inhale fully and exhale, tilting the hips and pelvis forward with a flat spine, moving the head towards the floor and pressing the palms against the floor in between the feet with the shoulders moving up the back, rather than hanging down towards the ears. In the fullest expression of this pose, the crown of the head will be able to touch the floor.
Prasarita padottanasana a is also known as spread feet intense stretch pose a.
Yogapedia explains Prasarita Padottanasana A
Within yoga, one of the goals is to achieve a state of balance within one's self. The prasarita padottanasana series encourages this by clearing the mind and strengthening the body through the movements of the lower and upper body. While the spine falls forward in the fold, blood flows to the brain and encourages clarity of mind. In prasarita padottanasana a, specifically, the arms fall forward with the feet and then the palms flat on the ground, pressing against the mat, which offers an expression of strength. When matching movements with the breath, one can experience both energizing and meditative effects.
This pose can be found therapeutic for individuals experiencing mild depression or anxiety, and may offer relief for those who have a headache or feel fatigued.