Definition - What does Prasarita Padottanasana mean?
Prasarita padottanasana is a half-inverted yoga pose that boosts confidence and reduces depression. The name is derived from the Sanskrit prasarita, meaning "extended," pada, meaning "foot," utta, meaning "intense," and asana, meaning "pose."
To enter this asana, step the legs about two to three feet apart. Feet should stay parallel with the toes turned slightly inward. The body bends forward at the hips, stretching the spine. The hands are placed on the floor in line with the feet, then the elbows bend so the torso and head can lower into a full forward bend. If possible, the crown of the head can rest on the floor.
Prasarita padottanasana is commonly referred to as wide-legged standing forward bend in English.
Yogapedia explains Prasarita Padottanasana
There are many spiritual benefits to this asana. It energizes the first three chakras: muladhara (root), svadisthana (spleen or sacral) and manipura (solar plexus or navel). Opening these chakras helps promote a sense of stability, productivity and self-acceptance.
It is also good to practice mula bandha (root lock) and uddiyana bandha (upward abdominal lock) in this asana. Engaging mula bandha and the root chakra symbolizes spiritual potential/energy. Practicing uddiyana bandha helps lead that energy upward and aids the practitioner in controlling the body and its strength.
Although it requires a lot of work and flexibility to learn this pose, it eventually becomes a resting pose. It is a preparatory pose for sirsasana (headstand) and sometimes is even practiced as its alternative. This asana brings a sense of calmness to the body and mind and has a cooling effect on the brain.