Wide-Legged Forward Bend

Definition - What does Wide-Legged Forward Bend mean?

Wide-legged forward bend is a standing forward bend that stretches the neck, back, calves and hamstrings. It is also a slight inversion that helps the blood flow to the head and upper parts of the body.

From mountain pose, take a wide stance, keeping the feet parallel and the toes turned slightly inward. With the hands on the hips, the body bends forward until the hands can reach down to touch the floor. Advanced practitioners can rest the crown of the head on the floor.

Wide-legged forward bend may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, prasarita padottanasana.

Yogapedia explains Wide-Legged Forward Bend

The pose described above is technically known as wide-legged forward bend A in the Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga systems. There are more challenging variations of this pose, wherein the practitioner performs the forward bend with the palms touching behind the back or with the fingers holding onto the big toes.

Practicing wide-legged forward bend improves digestion and organ health, and can relieve a mild headache. It also eases stress and calms the brain. With regular practice, it lengthens the spinal column and stretches the backs of the legs, greatly improving flexibility.

For beginners, it might not be easy to reach the floor with the hands. In that case, there is an option to either walk the feet wider apart or place yoga blocks under the hands. After becoming a little bit more flexible and gaining the ability to touch the floor with the hands, the block can be used as a head support.

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