WIDE-LEGGED FORWARD BEND

(PRASARITA PADOTTANASANA)

HOW TO PERFORM
• Step the feet as widely apart as feels comfortable for you, using the length of your mat side long.
• Ensure the feet are in one line so toes and heels line up. Feet are aligned with the front and back straight edges of your mat or they can be slightly pigeon toed, meaning toes slightly in, heels slightly out.
• Place the hands on your waist, inhale to look up and create space in the spine and exhale, begin to fold from the hips.
• Depending on the experience in the backs of your legs, bring either the fingertips to the floor, wrists are directly underneath the shoulders. If you have space in your body to do so, the hands are at to the mat. Heels of the hands can be brought in line with the heels of the feet but just see how it feels. Never push or force the body into any pose. Listen to the feedback from your body.
• If the legs are comfortably straight, you can anchor the weight into the outer edges of the feet and energise the inner ankles so there is a lifting action up the whole inner seam of each thigh. Knees lift up into the thighs.
• Work with the breath here to create length and extension through your spine and let your head relax down. Release by bringing the hands back to the waist, take a gentle bend in the knees and raise back up on an inhale keeping the spine long.

BENEFITS
• A great pose to elongate the hamstrings at the backs of the thighs.
• Good pose to strengthen the ankles and help with feeling more grounded and earthed through the legs and feet.
• Also helpful for creating space into the spine and strengthening the muscles of the back body.