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curling forward bend - uttanasana

BENEFITS: Increases flexibility in the hips, hamstrings and back. This posture is detoxifying as it massages the internal organs.  Can increase brain power due to extra blood supply to the head.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: If you have any back conditions, or your hamstrings are very tight, but it still feels good to do uttanasana, keep your knees bent throughout the posture and rest your hands on a chair or sideboard. As with all poses of the week, only practice if it feels comfortable…

PRACTICE: Stand in Tadasana – with your heels a little narrower than your hips and directly underneath your sitting bones – the outside edges of your feet parallel to each other.

Breathe in to prepare and then as you breathe out, gently bend your knees and let the head roll forwards and follow the head vertebra by vertebra, rolling down the spine and finally bending at the hips, until you are as far as you can comfortably go.

Don’t try to reach for the ground, just let the upper body give in to gravity and breathe…

If it still feels good, straighten one leg and then bend it again. Do the same with the other leg. Keep doing this a few more times and then if still at ease, straighten both legs.

Breathe and enjoy the lengthening of the whole of the back of the body. Stay here as long as it feels good.

When you are ready to come out, take a breath in as preparation, bend the knees and send the tailbone down, coming up vertebra, by vertebra.

Gently shake out the arms and legs.

You might now feel as though you want to go into child as a counter pose and have a little rest….

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Comments on: "pose of the week… curling forward bend – uttanasana" (2)

  1. Sometimes when I am in this pose for too long (more than 3 to 5 minutes) my right leg gets numb and my right calf cramps up all the way from my calf to my feet….. Any ideas what I can do to change my pose and adapt?

    • Hi Lucyxuanluo,
      You say when you are in the pose for ‘too long’. You have answered part of your question here : ) I think you are holding Uttanasana too long for you at the moment. Strong forward bends can temporary stop the blood flow to the legs. The feeling of numbness and cramps can happen when tissue is deprived of oxygen. (It isn’t harmful for a few minutes!)
      Maybe just hold the posture until you feel the numbness coming on. Then have a rest and you can go into it again if you want to… At some point you may be able to hold the pose for longer…
      Some things that might help deter the numbness/cramp are giving the legs a good rub whilst in Uttanasana. Also bending the knees every now and again might help.
      Hope this helps!

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