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Prasarita Padottanasana gets its name from four Sanskrit words, Prasarita, Pada, Utta and Asana, which mean Expand/spread out, Foot, Intense, and Pose respectively. Also known as Wide-Legged Forward Bend in English, it is a half-inverted pose that is done by bending your upper torso towards your foot.

This asana is helpful in strengthening hamstrings, calves, feet and spine. It calms the mind and can also help in relieving headaches.

This article tells you about the proper steps to do Prasarita Padottanasana along with its benefits, easy modifications and precautions.

  1. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend) steps: Correct way to do Prasarita Padottanasana
  2. Benefits of Prasita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
  3. Easy modifications of Prasita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
  4. Precautions to take before doing Prasita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
  • Stand in the Tadasana position
  • Inhale and put your feet at least 3 to 4 feet apart, depending on your height
  • Place your hands on your hips 
  • Pushing with the outer side of your feet and your heels, lift up the inner arches of your feet
  • Your chest should be a bit extended or lifted up 
  • Exhale, and slowly bend your body from above the buttocks until it reaches almost parallel to the ground
  • Try to touch your fingers on the floor, while keeping your arms directly below your shoulders
  • Make sure to keep your legs straight
  • Inhale and gaze forward by keeping your head straight
  • Exhale, and bend further from above your buttocks. Try to keep your back and head straight.
  • Push back your upper thigh and bend your elbows so as to balance your body
  • Your legs should be straight
  • This asana may put some stress on the muscles of your shoulders and hamstrings so bend only as much as feasible for you
  • Inhale and exhale in the same position and try to maintain the position for atleast 30-60 seconds. You can practice for a longer duration once your body gets flexible. But remember, not to practice it for more than 90 seconds.
  • Now, to get out of the posture, gently inhale and raise your arms along with your back, place your hands on your hips, bring your feet back in tadasana and stand straight again. Relax for some time and then you can practice again. 

Asanas to do before Prasarita Padottanasana

You can practice the following asanas before doing Prasarita Padottanasana:

  • Side stretch Pose (Pravottanasana)
  • Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)
  • Half Bound Lotus Pose (Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana)
  • Chair Pose (Uktatasana)

Prasita Padmottanasana can have some incredible benefits for your health such as:

  • Strengthens and stretches the inner and back leg muscles
  • Tones abdominal organs
  • Calms your mind and helps you to relieve stress and fatigue
  • May help reduce back pain
  • Relieves headache 

It is possible that in the beginning, you may not be able to touch your fingers on the ground. In such a case, support yourself with the help of a block or folded blanket. 

The following precautions should be taken before practising Prasarita Padottanasana:

  • If you have any lower back problems or knee problems, avoid practising this asana.
  • Do not force or push your body unnecessarily. Your body takes time to become flexible.
  • People with a head or neck injury or a slipped disc problem should talk to a yoga teacher before doing this asana.
  • Do not practice Prasarita Padottanasana if you recently had an abdominal or hernia surgery.
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