Prasarita Padottanasana D
Definition - What does Prasarita Padottanasana D mean?
Prasarita padottanasana D is the fourth 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. From Sanskrit, prasarita means “expanded,” “stretched out" or "spread.” For padottanasana, pada means “feet” and uttana means "intense stretch."
To enter into prasarita padottanasana D, 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 bringing the hands down to the floor to grasp the feet with fingers sliding under the edges. On the inhale, look forward and press the chest down toward the ground while lifting the hips to allow for more stretch. On the exhale, the shoulders should remain active, pulling down while holding the feet with elbows lifted and pointed toward the sky. The head is pressed toward the floor. In the fullest expression of this pose, the crown of the head touches the floor.
Prasarita padottanasana D is also known as wide-legged forward bend D.
Yogapedia explains Prasarita Padottanasana D
One of the goals of yoga is to achieve a state of balance internally. The prasarita padottanasana series encourages this by clearing the mind and strengthening the body through the movements of the lower and upper body. The legs are strong and solid, offering a grounded base for the rest of the body, while the spine falls forward allowing blood flow to the brain and encouraging clarity of mind. In prasarita padottanasana D, specifically, the arms and shoulders are used to pull the yogi deeper into the pose by holding on to the edges of the feet. This expression of the arms opens the chest further in a posture of active strength, facilitating deep breaths and opening the shoulders, while also stretching the hamstrings. 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.