Virtual Satsang

Resources for the community of seekers

Safely doing Paschimottana

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Seated Forward Bend is an asana that is part of most yoga classes. It is accessible and there are many variations using props like straps, blankets, and chairs. Unfortunately, when done improperly it is very easy to hurt yourself. It doesn’t help that students in a class tend to compare themselves with their peers, and in the process go deeper than they should. This is one pose that I wish yoga teachers would not rush into – proper technique matters a lot with Paschimottana.

I looked around for useful resources on how to do Paschimottana, I didn’t find many specifically addressing safety (I’ve listed what I found below). Let me know if you know of any others that emphasize safety – I’ll add them to the list.

  • Step-by-step written instructions from the Yoga Journal: Draw the inner groins deep into the pelvis. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist.
  • How to Avoid Yoga Injuries : Yoga Seated Forward Fold

  • Paschimottanasana Benefits and Dangers

    The Sitting Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) is one of the most demanding poses of yoga. In this pose the body is folded almost in half, providing an intense stretch to the entire back of the body, from the scalp down to the heels.
    Beginners often struggle in this yoga pose. If you pull yourself forward using your shoulders and arms you will create the tension through your body and you will end up tightening your muscles and this will not allow you to get into the posture any quicker. While doing this yoga pose, give some time for the muscles to stretch and to release the tension.

  • Yoga Shouldn’t Hurt: While this recent Yoga Journal article doesn’t address Paschimottana, it does give useful tips on how to avoid injuring your inner knees, hamstring tendons, and sacroiliac joints.
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Written by virtualsatsang

October 20, 2010 at 7:29 am

Posted in Yoga

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. [...] an earlier post, I listed some resources that might help you safely do seated forward bends. Walk into any yoga [...]

  2. [...] you think: In previous posts I highlighted the headstand (sirsasana) and the seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana). In Broad’s recent NY Times article, he mentions of stories of yoga teachers who’ve [...]


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