Wide-Legged Forward Bend

Prasarita Padottanasana

Level: Beginner

Instructions

1. From Mountain pose, step the legs 3-4 feet apart into Five Pointed Star. With a flat back exhale forward bringing the palms to the floor under the shoulders.

2. Use the arms to pull the forehead down towards the floor, bending the elbows towards the back wall. Press into the feet, lengthening the legs to press the hips up toward the ceiling.

3. Feel the spine being pulled in opposite directions as you press the head down and lift the hips up.

4. Breathe and hold for 3-8 breaths.

5. To release, reach the arms out to the sides and inhale back up into 5 pointed star.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Wide-Legged Forward Bend pose lengthens the spinal column and stretches the backs of the legs and the back muscles.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the legs, hips, back or shoulders.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: If the hands do not reach the floor, either walk the feet wider apart or place yoga blocks under the hands.

Variations: There are multiple variations on the placement of the hands: A) Wrap the middle and index finger around the big toe, B) Scoop the fingers under the outside edges of the feet, C) Hold on to the ankles with the hands, D) Place the hands on the hips, E) Bring the hands in reverse Anjali Mudra behind the back.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Five Pointed Star, Goddess Squat, Standing Yoga Mudra, High Lunge.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Five Pointed Star, Standing Yoga Mudra, Wide Legged Down Dog.

Other Names

This pose is also known as Dandayamana Konasana / Standing Angle pose.

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