Monday, 9 July 2012

Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend

Forward bends come easily to me.  Don’t know why except I probably have
some natural flexibility in my hips to start with.  I guess what is surprising
is I carry my excess weight in my belly but I am able to get my hands to the
floor in a standing forward bend.  Just another reminder that yoga can work
for anyone willing to spend the time.

Start in Tadansana (Mountain Pose).  Your feet can be together or apart to the
width of your shoulders.  Hands on hips and gently bend back a bit to open the
hip flexors.  Hinging from the hip joints, bend forward keeping your back
straight.  Try to concentrate on rolling your abdominal muscles in and up as
you bend forward.  Take your hands to a height (chair, blocks, floor) where
you can comfortably hold this pose with your back straight.  Do not force this
pose.  This is where I over stretched my hamstrings when I first started out in
yoga.  Let the pose settle into your body and allow the whole back (from heels
to shoulders) learn to release.  It helps to press your hands into your supports
to encourage the back muscles to let go.  Hold for 30 seconds.

When you are coming up, place your hands back on your hips.  Use you glutes
(those are the big butt muscles) and pull yourself back up.  Repeat two more times.

This is one of my “go to” poses especially after a long walk, Zumba, or any
other time I am using my legs a lot.  Forward bends become easier as your
hips open up and your legs become stronger.

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