BENGALURU: In Sanskrit, this translates as the extended wide leg intense stretch. A warm-up involving large muscle groups is a pre-requisite for intense stretches to flow smooth without injury. If you are an active person, you should be able to attain this posture with ease and grace.
1. Stand in Tadasan the upright mountain posture. Next inhale and step/jump with your feet to leg length distance or 4 1/2 to 5 feet apart. Outstretch your arms, palms facing up. Exhale.
2. At your next inhalation, bend backwards contracting your back and stretching your abdomen. (This intermediate position is also depicted here). As you exhale, slowly bend forward at the hip joint. TIP: If you have weak hamstring muscles, you may bend your knees when going down and slowly straighten your knees once your hands are on the floor.
3. INTERMEDIATE STEP: For the next few breathing cycles look ahead stretching your neck and shoulders forward, at the same time push your tailbone backwards. This will help to achieve a concave back (this intermediate position was covered here last week).
4. FINAL POSTURE: Move your hands to the respective feet as shown and grasp your big toe with your thumb, index and middle fingers and lower your head towards the floor. You can place your head on the floor and breathe deep as you hold the pose for about 30 seconds. Your body weight should remain equally distributed on all corners of your feet.
5. To come out of the pose first inhale and raise your head to look forward next place your hands on your waist, exhale and come up to standing. TIP: Bend your knees while coming up for the safety of your back.
6. Jump or step back to Tadasan bringing your feet together.
Prasarita Padottanasana directs increased blood flow to the head and torso as the position of both is as in an inversion. It is good to rejuvenate in this pose after a tiring day!! This pose leads to improved flexibility in the lower body. The Hamstrings, Abductor and Glutes are intensely stretched. This practice leads to improved digestion.
Do not try this pose after a meal or intense cardio activity.
- Anshu Vyas Seetharaman is a yoga and fitness trainer at Sri Aurobindo Society, Bengaluru.
You Tube: Anshu Vyas Yoga 365