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Paschimottanasana, Double Leg Forward Stretch

By Yoga Lily 7 years ago
Home  /  Stretch  /  Paschimottanasana, Double Leg Forward Stretch
Paschimottanasana, Double Leg Forward Stretch

Paschimottanasana, Double Leg Forward Stretch: Yoga poses for stretching

Paschimottanasana ­– With this yoga pose Double Leg Forward Stretch, the back of the body is given an intense stretch as the top half of the body folds over the bottom half. With the head tucked in, this pose offers an opportunity to reconnect deeply with our inner being.

1 Sit in Seated staff posture with palms or fingertips on the floor beside the hips. Tilt the pelvis anteriorly to tip your weight more on to the front of your sitting bones. The sitting bones anchor to the floor as you inhale and float the arms above the head. Let the heart lift and lengthen the spine up toward the crown of the head.

 

Seated Staff Posture base pose

Sit in Seated staff posture with palms or fingertips on the floor beside the hips

2 On an exhalation, gently draw the lower abdomen in toward the spine as you fold the upper body forward, extending the arms along the legs to hold the big toes or sides of the feet, or grasp one wrist around the balls of the feet.

Paschimottanasana-2

3 Keeping the chest open, rather than rounding the upper back down, will help free up the breathing. On an inhalation, look forward, lift the heart centre, and move the floating ribs away from the hips and toward the knees. This forward movement originates from the pelvic abdomen and lumbar spine rather than from the head and shoulders.

Paschimottanasana-3

4 If you reach the feet easily, bend the elbows and exhale farther into into the pose bringing the forehead to the knees. If your chest is not close to the thighs, don’t drop the head but keep the vertebrae of the neck in line with the rest of the vertebral column. Move your shoulders away from your ears.

Paschimottanasana-4

5 When you reach maximum extension in the pose, stay there breathing deeply for as long as you continue to enjoy the stretch. Keep the backs of the legs in full contact with the floor. Work to maintain the anterior tilt of the pelvis as the spine lengthens forward.

Paschimottanasana-5

6 Release on an inhalation. Draw the lower abdominal area in toward the spine, raise the arms and chest upward. Lower the arms beside the hips on an exhalation, returning to Seated Staff Posture.

Paschimottanasana-main

Tips

Gaze: Toes

Lighten:

  • Keep knees slightly bent to rest the chest on thighs
  • Hold thighs or shins rather than feet.

Effect: Calming

 

Look out for my next Tip!

Category:
  Stretch
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About

 Yoga Lily

  (105 articles)

Lili has been studying and practising yoga in China & UK for 20 years, and teaching since 2007 (7 years in the UK). She draws inspiration from her training within established, classical yoga systems that focus on alignment, hatha vinyasa in its gentler form, yin, yin/yang, and restorative yoga styles, pranayama and meditation; blending the roots of Chinese healing traditions into a more holistic practice. For her, practice covers not just the physical aspects of yoga but also aligning and unblocking the bodies meridian energy pathways to release Qi energy (prana) which flows through the bodies energy highway, bringing the mind, body and spirit back into balance. “I am continually humbled by my students and teachers, my aim is always to teach from the heart and from the idea that yoga is the art of living, listening and learning, to embody this deeply spiritual tradition” – Lili Chen.