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Paschimottanasana or Seated forward bend pose - Steps and Benefits

Paschimottanasan (seated forward bend pose) is seating on the floor by stretching your legs and bending yourself in front and trying to touch your knees by your head. In the initial stages, it is very difficult to even bend yourself in front direction. There are few easy steps that are helpful to get a command over this asana (pose). We are going to learn Steps and Benefits of Paschimottanasan.

Paschimottanasana or Seated forward bend pose - Steps and Benefits
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In the HINDU philosophy, every day starts by praying LORD SURYA (SUN). So, as a habit, HINDU people does everything, heading themselves towards PURVA DISHA (EAST). So, Paschimottanasan means to stretch/bend your head and back towards front and keep it for sometime (seconds/minutes). This is called Seated forward bend pose. The same pose can be done by standing called Uttanasan (Standing forward bend pose).
It can be achieved in following ways.

Steps of Paschimottanasan (seated forward bend pose) -

Step 1 -
  • Sit down on the floor with stretched legs in the front. Now, lie down on the floor and stretch your hands in upward direction.
  • Slowly lift your hands with body and try to bend it to touch your thumb of the leg. In the initial stages, it will be very difficult to do it.
  • Now, get back to your initial step [step 1(a) again].
Step 2 - This step can be done after the practice of few days.
  • Sit down on the floor with stretched legs in the front. Now, lie down on the floor and stretch your hands in upward direction.
  • Slowly lift your hands with body and try to bend it to touch your thumb of the leg.
  • Try to bend your head and keep it the between both the hands.
  • Now, get back to your initial step [step 2(a) again].
Step 3 - This can be done after achievement of Step 2 successfully.
  • Sit down on the floor with stretched legs in the front. Now, lie down on the floor and stretch your hands in upward direction.
  • Slowly lift your hands with body and try to bend it to touch your thumb of the leg.
  • Try to touch your head to your knees. If you do this, you have successfully done this asana (pose).
This seems little difficult to do, but if you follow above steps properly in order given, you can do it very soon.

Precautions to take before doing Paschimottanasan (seated forward bend pose) -

  • Do this asana with empty stomach.
  • Don't do it at least 3-4 hours before, after having food.
  • In the initial stages, do this asana up to 10 seconds and increase by 2-5 seconds every week. After getting command over it, can be done up to 5-10 minutes as well.
  • Keep breathing normal while doing this asana. But, specially while in bending position try to exhale and while releasing asana/pose try to inhale.

Benefits of Paschimottanasan (seated forward bend pose)-

  • As this asana generates a pressure on backbone, thigh, muscles of back, muscles of hand, forearms, shoulder, waist etc. which ultimately increases the strength of those muscles.
  • Due to a systematic stretching to muscles, it reduces the chances of pains in all above mentioned organs/muscles.
  • This increases the strength of legs.
  • Improvement in good functioning of nervous system.
  • It improves the functioning of digestion system.
  • Reduces the chances of back aching and gives a good shape (V shape) to back.
  • Due to contraction of muscles in stomach, it reduces the chances of piles, Diarrhoea.
  • It reduces extra layer of fats on stomach(tummy).
In the above article, we have  learnt Steps and Benefits of Paschimottanasan. This is a real secret of good health that do keep practising it daily and it will give you better result as a good health.

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