POSTURE BREAKDOWN: Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
- Standing tall, place your hands on your hips.
- Take a deep inhale lengthening your spine and exhale folding forward from your hips.
- Press your heels firmly into the ground as you lift your sits bones up towards the sky.
- If your hands can reach the ground your palms are planted on the ground, otherwise your arms wrap around your legs grasping onto your heels.
- Release your head starting from the root of your neck.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths.
- After 5-10 breaths, put your hands on your hips and lift your chest up to Mountain Pose.
MODIFICATION: If you have a back injury, you can do this pose with bent knees, or with your arms out in front of you against the wall, legs perpendicular to your torso and your arms are parallel to the ground.
Benefits (Source: Yoga Journal)
- Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
- Stimulates the liver and kidneys
- Reduces fatigue and anxiety
- Relieves headache and insomnia
- Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, infertility, osteoporosis, and sinusitis
- Strengthens the thighs and knees
- Improves digestion
Be cautious in this pose if you have a back injury and refer to the above modification options.
Prep Poses (do these before puppy pose)
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Head-to-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)
- Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
- Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)
Follow-Up Poses (do these after puppy pose)
- Standing poses, inversions, or seated forward bends