Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend): steps, benefits, and precautions

Prasarita Padottanasana derives its name from the four Sanskrit words, Prasara, Pada, Utta and Asana, meaning extension/dilation, foot, intensity, and posture respectively. Also known as a wide-legged forward bend in English, it is a half-inverted pose performed by tilting your upper torso towards your leg.

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

This article gives you the right way of Prasarita Padottanasana, the health benefits of Prasarita Padottanasanaand the precautions to be taken while practicing it.

Girl doing a Prasarita Padottanasana.  It is also called the  Wide legged forward bend.

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend) steps: The right way to do Prasarita Padottanasana

To practice Prasarita Padottanasana in the right way, follow the steps given below:

1)- Firstly, Stand in the Tadasana position.
2)- Depending on your height, keep your feet at least 3 to 4 feet apart.
3)- Place your hands on your hips.
4)- Push up with your feet and your heels, raising the inner arch of your feet.
5)- Your chest should be a bit extended or lifted up.
6)- Exhale, and slowly bend your body above the buttocks until it reaches almost parallel to the ground.
7)- While keeping your arms straight down from your shoulders, try to touch your fingers on the floor.
8)- Make sure to keep your legs straight.
9)- Inhale, keep your head straight and lean forward.
10)- Exhale, and lean forward over your buttocks. Try to keep your back and head straight..
11)- Push your upper thigh back and bend your elbows to balance your body.
12)- Your legs should be straight
13)- This asana can put some strain on your shoulders and hamstring muscles so only bend as much as possible for you.
14)- Inhale and exhale in the same position and try to maintain the position for at least 30-60 seconds. Once your body becomes flexible, you can practice for long periods. But remember, do not practice it for more than 90 seconds.
15)- Now, to get out of the posture, inhale slowly and raise your arms along your back, place your hands on your hips, bring your feet back in tadasana and stand upright. Rest for some time and then you can practice again.

Benefits of Prasita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)

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

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

Precautions to take before doing Prasita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)

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

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