Standing Forward Bend

Padahastasana - Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend — Padahastasana

The word pada in Sanskrit means foot, and hasta means hand. The translation of Padahastasana is literally hands to feet posture. Another name for this posture is Uttanasana, which translates as intense stretch pose! While Padahastasana can be intense, it is also considered a calming pose, and is central in the classic Surya Namaskara, or sun salutation. While this pose can improve concentration and increase vitality, it is primarily a pose of self offering. Bowing to the sun in gratitude for sustaining all life, and shedding light on our practice of yoga.

POSE TYPE
Standing Pose

POSE CATEGORY
Forward Bending

ORIGIN
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya
Dhirendra Brahmachari

SANSKRIT
Padahastasana
पादहस्तासन

PRONUNCIATION
pA-da-ha-st-AHS-anna

TRANSLATION
Hands (Hasta) to Feet (Pada) Posture (Asana)
Also known as: Uttanasana.

Performance

STARTING
Feet parallel, without touching, 10 centimeters apart, legs straight, knee joints unlocked.

ENTERING
Lift the chest, raise the arms above the head, actively straighten and lengthen the torso.
Bending forward from the hip with a straight and elongated spine, leading with the chest, reaching forward, aiming to place the palms flat on the floor.
Distribute the body weight evenly on the soles of the feet. Relaxing the back and neck.

RELEASING
Slightly bend the knees and roll up slowly into a vertical standing position, straightening the spine, opening the chest.

VARIATION
For less flexible students: Padangusthasana: Same as Padahastasana, but instead of placing the hands flat on the ground, catch hold of the big toes, hooking them with the index and middle fingers. Students who cannot yet reach their toes may use pillows under their hands.
Pregnant or overweight people place their feet at a hip distance, or wider, to create space for the belly.
In the second half of pregnancy, or for low back issues, the hands rest on a chair for keeping the lower back flat.

Effects

PHYSIOLOGICAL
– Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips.
– Strengthens the thighs and knees.
– Massages and tones the digestive organs, liver, spleen and kidneys.
– Stimulates and tones the spinal nerves.
– Increases the blood flow to the brain and improves circulation to the
pituitary and thyroid glands.
– Improved metabolism

ENERGETIC
– Activates the Root Chakra.
– Purifies Sushumna Nadi, and supportes the free flow of Apana Vayu.

PSYCHOLOGICAL
– Long holding has an anti-depressive effect.
– Relieves stress.
– Improves concentration, soothes the brain and calms the mind.
– Increases vitality, reduces fatigue and anxiety.

Contra-Indications

– Back injury and serious back complaints, slipped disc.
– Osteoporosis.
– Sciatica.
– Heart disease.
– High blood pressure (hypertension).
– Abdominal hernia.

Chakra Correlation

Root Chakra - The Muladhara Chakra

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