Paschimottanasana pose can be very meditative. If you put equal emphasis on posture, breathing, and relaxation, it will balance the stimulation provided by the muscle stretches with your body’s awareness of the pull of gravity. Practice Inclined plane as a counterpose, then relax in Corpse pose.
- Avoid this asana if you have back pain or injuries.
- Move very slowly in the pose.
- Do not bend beyond your comfort level.
Paschimottanasana Steps –
Lie stretched out on your back with your palms face down on your thighs and keep your legs together. Relax your feet.
On an inhalation, sit up straight with your legs stretched out in front of you. Keep your head, neck, and back in a straight line.
On another inhalation, raise both arms straight up, stretching them as high as possible.
Exhale and bend forwards from the hips. Try to reach your calves or ankles with your hands. Repeat 3–4 times, each time holding the pose for a few breaths more.
Starting from Forwarding bend Step 4, if your hands reach your feet, take hold of your big toe in the Classical foothold.
Paschimottanasana Benefits –
- Stretches the posterior muscles completely from toes to neck.
- Reduces fat by putting pressure on the abdomen.
- Massages the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
- Alleviates constipation.
- Relaxes the back muscles.
- Helps control diabetes.
- Calms and soothes the entire nervous system.
This pose requires conscious control to align toes, knees, and neck correctly, and conscious letting go, by allowing gravity to pull the spine into the pose. Achieving control with detachment is a benefit that can be applied to daily life, as well as in the practice of meditation.