Standing Forward Bend
Uttanasana is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘ut' meaning intense and ‘tan' meaning stretch while ‘asana' refers to pose. Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend Pose is an incredible stretching yoga pose that has a number of therapeutic benefits.In the Standing Forward Bend Yoga Pose, your head hangs below the heart allowing for fresh oxygen-rich blood to flow to your brain. This rejuvenates and revitalizes cells and gives the entire body a quick boost of oxygen. Though this is often considered a basic yoga pose, it is very important that the proper technique is followed to ensure that you stretch your hamstrings completely and do not injure your back.
Stand in Tadasana, hands on hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. As you descend draw the front torso out of the groins and open the space between the pubis and top sternum. As in all the forward bends, the emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully into the position.If possible, with your knees straight, bring your palms or finger tips to the floor slightly in front of or beside your feet, or bring your palms to the backs of your ankles. If this isn't possible, cross your forearms and hold your elbows. Press the heels firmly into the floor and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. Turn the top thighs slightly inward.With each inhalation in the pose, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates almost imperceptibly with the breath. Let your head hang from the root of the neck, which is deep in the upper back, between the shoulder blades.Uttanasana can be used as a resting position between the standing poses. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. It can also be practiced as a pose in itself. Don't roll the spine to come up. Instead bring your hands back onto your hips and reaffirm the length of the front torso. Then press your tailbone down and into the pelvis and come up on an inhalation with a long front torso.
Stimulates the liver, spleen, and kidneys.Stimulates the endocrine and nervous system.Stretches and opens the leg muscles such as the hamstrings and calves.Improves flexibility of the hips.Strengthens the knees Improves cellular growth.Improves blood circulation.Strengthens the spine Relieves tension in the back, shoulder, and neck Tones and activates the muscles of the abdomen Improves posture and alignment
If you suffer from any type of back injury, try this pose with your knees bent You can also try the Ardha Uttanasana instead of the Uttanasana if you suffer from chronic back pain Avoid this pose completely if you have recently had back surgery, knee surgery or surgery to your hamstrings Do not do this pose if there has been recent injury to your legs, hips, and shoulders