Paschimottanasana Yoga Pose: Paschimottanasana is a yoga pose that includes the person sitting in a forward bend position and having a dorsal stretch. Hatha yoga consists of this asana but this is also a part of modern yoga The origin of this word is present in Sanskrit. The word ‘Paschim’ means the western direction or ‘the back of the body’. Uttana pertains to intense stretch and asana means the posture of the person This Paschimottanasana Yoga Pose, like any other asana, has a proper procedure, which needs to be followed. On the following, the procedure this asana will have it’s desired effect.
Steps of Paschimottanasana Yoga Pose
In this pose, the person needs to be seated on the floor with both of the buttons touching the ground. It is good to use a soft blanket that will support the buttons, then the person needs to place the legs in front. The press needs to come through the heels. Then, there needs to be a slight rocking motion on the left buttock. The sitting bone on the right needs to be pulled away from the heel with the support of the hand. This process has to be repeated on the other side by the yogi. The top thighs are slightly rotated and then pressed down on the floor. With the help of the palms or fingertips the top part of the yogi’s body is raised towards the ceiling as the upper thigh slowly descends.
After this step the yogi tries to draw in the groin deep into the pelvis. Then the yogi performs an inhalation while maintaining the lean posture of the upper part of the body. Then the yogi tries leaning forward with the help of joints present in the hips. The tailbone is extended from the backside of the pelvis of the yogi. The yogi then touches the feet with his hands, with the thumbs on the underside of the feet. The elbows remain straight and erect.
The yogi then slowly pulls himself/herself into a forward bend. The elongation of the upper part of the body is performed with the head remaining strength. The elbows are bent out on both sides and then sluggishly the elbows are lifted away from the floor. The lower part of the stomach should be made to touch the thighs at first, then the upper part of the stomach will touch the thighs, after that the ribs will touch the thighs and finally it should be the head.
The yogi, in every inhalation tries to flatten out his/her upper part of the body more than before, then while exhaling his/her breath the yogi makes his/her body, proceed a bit further into the forward bend. In this manner, the upper part of the yogi is subjected to fluctuation and slowly he/she can completely flatten the upper torso on the thighs. Slowly, the arms are stretched out beyond the feet.
The Paschimottanasana Yoga Pose is maintained for a maximum of 3 minutes. While coming back up, the yogi, at first lifts the upper part of his/her body, which had been in a bent position over the thigh. The elbows are straightened out from their bent position. The yogi performs an inhalation of fresh oxygen and slowly goes back to his original position by lifting the upper torso and bringing the tailbone down, into the pelvis.
BENEFITS of Paschimottanasana Yoga Pose
This asana is highly beneficial for human health and has many perks. These perks are listed below-
- This Paschimottanasana Yoga is particularly good form those who are suffering from mental stress as it helps to calm down the brain.
- The backbone and shoulders are properly stretched out. Even, the thigh muscles are stretched.
- This yogic posture energizes the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus
- This asana is also good for those suffering from indigestion.
- Particularly good for women as it soothes out the pain caused due to menstrual pain.
- People prone to fainting are also benefited by this asana it relaxes the head.
- This yoga acts as therapy for patients of high blood pressure and insomnia.
- It helps those suffering from infertility and sinusitis.
- It is beneficial even for those who wish to remain fit and reduce weight. It is believed that this asana reduces obesity.
CONTRAINDICATIONS of Paschimottanasana Yoga Pose
Before performing this asana there are few things which you should keep in your mind. This asana should be performed accurately under the supervision of an expert, otherwise, it might cause back pain. People having the following diseases should not perform this asana.
- Abdominal ulcer
- Slipped disc
Different people have different abilities when it comes to yoga. Some people cannot strain their muscles while some can strain a bit more than others. So, here are some alterations to the asana which will enable everyone to perform this asana with ease and smoothness.
- Some people have difficulty reaching the toes, so they can touch their ankles and then slowly go to the toes. For the stretch they could use a strap on their outer knee.
- Some have a stiff body and cannot place their legs on the floor without bending their knees. If you are one of them, then place something soft below your knee like a pillow or blanket
- Some have a stiff and tight back which prevents them from doing this asana. They should use a pillow or blanket to support the lower portion of the body.
- Some people feel a lot of strain in their abdomen and chest. For such people, the best remedy would be to use a soft pillow or blanket on their abdomen before stretching out.
See also TADASANA, The Mountain Pose
This asana like all other asanas is beneficial for your mental as well as physical health. Yoga is a calm and beautiful form of exercise that keeps your body in shape and even your overall health. Try this asana during your leisure and relax your body and mind. Feel the fresh air flow through your body during inhalation and exhalation. If you are not flexible, then use the modifications tom perform this asana.
Read our article on The Warrior Pose.
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