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Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend Pose gets its name from two Sanskrit words Uttana which means intense stretching and asana which means posture. Though it may take a bit of time to master, it is considered as an excellent asana for your back and hamstrings.

This article discusses the right way of doing Uttanasana. It also talks about the benefits of Uttanasana and precautions you should take while practising it.

  1. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose) steps: Correct way to do Uttanasana
  2. Benefits of Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
  3. Easy modifications of Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
  4. Precautions of Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
  • Stand straight in an upright pose (Tada asana), with your arms resting on either side of your thighs
  • While exhaling, bend forward with the help of your hip bones. Do not bend your knees. Like all the other bending forward asanas, Uttanasana is also all about stretching of your upper body.
  • If you are flexible enough to touch your toes or the floor do try it but if you are not, do not try this as it may injure your hamstrings. Instead, you can fold your forearms and try touching your elbows with your opposite palms. This is a simple variation of uttanasana known as the elbow grab.
  • Do not stop breathing while doing the asana.
  • While inhaling gently move your body upwards. Again while exhaling bend your body downwards as deep as you can.
  • Take deep breaths 5-6 times so that you are able to hold your pose for at least 30-60 seconds.
  • When you feel flexible enough to do the asana you can increase your time
  • Do not hold the pose for more than 90 seconds at a time.
  • Let your head bend with your body so that you don't hurt the muscles of your neck.
  • While moving upwards remember to inhale. Do not bend your spine and move upwards only by using your hipbone.

Aasanas to do before doing Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose):

You should do certain asanas before practising Uttanasana to warm up your body for this asana. Here is a list of a few such asanas:

  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Savasana)
  • Head to knee pose (Janu Sirasana)
  • Seated forward bend pose (Pashimottanasana)
  • Reclined Big toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

There are various benefits of practising Uttanasana. These include:

  • It reduces stress and calms your mind thus increasing focus and concentration
  • It is helpful in reducing the severity of depression symptoms in its initial stage.
  • When done regularly, this asana aids in improving heart and kidney functions.
  • It stretches your hamstrings, calf and hip muscles and strengthens your thighs and knees.
  • Uttanasana also improves digestion
  • It helps manage the symptoms of menopause.
  • It reduces tiredness and tension and decreases frequent headaches and insomnia.
  • Regular practice of Uttanasana reduces the risk of asthma, high B.P, infertility, osteoporosis and sinusitis.
  • It may be a bit difficult to bend properly in the beginning, you can put a towel under your feet to make it easier.
  • You can also do Ardha uttanasana instead. In this, your palms are on your calves instead of your feet.
  • If you want to stretch your calf muscles more, you can practice standing on your toes while in the bent position.
  • If you have a backache, spine injury, pain in ankles, heart problem or abdominal hernia do not try this, instead, you can practice its variant; Ardha-Uttanasana.
  • Do not force yourself to do this asana.
  • If you experience a backache stop doing the asana and consult a physician.
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