Wide Leg Forward Bend, Prasarita Padottanasana

By Yoga Lily 7 years ago
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Yoga Wide Leg Forward Bend, Prasarita Padottanasana

How to do Wide Leg Forward Bend: Yoga Standing Posture for Strength & Flexibility

Yoga Classes in Milton Keynes

Prasarita Padottanasana – Wide Leg Forward Bend – in the urban landscape, the linear structures within which we live can inhibit the full expression of our range of movement. Spreading the legs as wide apart as they are able to stretch is immensely satisfying, and it expands the shape of who we are in the outer world.

1. Stand in mountain pose. Step the feet wide apart with the toes slightly turned in. Press the soles of the feet firmly into the floor so that both the inner and outer edges of the feet are fully engaged. Spread your weight evenly between the heel and ball of each foot. Allow the hands to rest on the hips. Inhale, tuck the tailbone under and lengthen the spine upward through the crown of the head.

Wide Leg Forward Bend, Prasarita Padottanasana step 1

2. As you exhale take your tailbone back and up to fold the upper body forward. Bring your hands to the floor, shoulder width apart, wrists in line with the inner arches of the feet. Allow the back of the neck to be long, and ease the crown of the head towards the floor as you let the weight of your head lengthen the spine.

3. Press into the outer edges of the feet as you lift the sitting bones up toward the ceiling, softening and lengthening the hamstring muscles at the back of the thighs. Bring your hips forward so the back of your heels, backs of your knees, and sitting bones are in one line. Keep lengthening the front of the spine, lifting the rib cage away from the belly on the inhale as you fold forward more deeply with each exhalation. Un-hunch your shoulders, yet work the arms to bring the back of the head to the floor. If it does touch the floor, increase your challenge by bringing the feet closer together.

Wide Leg Forward Bend, Prasarita Padottanasana step 2

4. If you would like to include a shoulder stretch, from the upright position interlace your fingers together behind the back, if possible with the heels of the palms together. Lengthen the hands away from the shoulders, squeezing the shoulder blades together and rolling open the upper chest. Inhale and lengthen the spine. Exhale as you hinge at the hips and fold forward. Roll the shoulders away from the ears has you squeeze the shoulder blades together toward the spine and bring the fingers toward the floor.

Wide Leg Forward Bend, Prasarita Padottanasana including a shoulder stretch - step 3


Gaze: Tip of nose

Counter Poses:


  • Bend the knees
  • Place the feet closer together

Effect: Expansive


Wide Leg Forward Bend Counter Poses

In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.


Chair Pose, Utkatasana, as a counter pose to Wide Leg Forward Bend

Chair Pose, Utkatasana


Standing Half Bow Pose, Utthita Ardha Dhanurasana as a counter pose to Wide Leg Forward Bend

Standing Half Bow Pose, Utthita Ardha Dhanurasana


Camel Pose, Ustrasana as a Counter Pose to Wide Leg Forward Bend, Prasarita Padottanasana

Camel Pose, Ustrasana

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 Yoga Lily

  (113 articles)

Lili has been studying and practising yoga in China & UK for 20 years, and teaching since 2007. 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.