Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend is a yoga pose that makes sense to everyone when they see it. This is simply along the lines of touching your toes, but without any expectation of what you'll actually touch. Its official name is Uttanasana.

Buy at So much of our life is about competition and stress. Someone else is touching their toes - we have to do better! We have to touch the floor! But that is not what Standing Forward Bend is all about. It is about nurturing your back, helping it retain the flexibility that it needs to be pain free throughout life. So the key here is never to force yourself. Don't add stress. Honor where you are today. Take your progress a step at a time.

So to begin, bend at the waist, with a straight back, until you reach a 90 degree level. At this point your back is parallel to the floor. You bend straight rather than curling your back to ease any stress on your back.

Once you get to the 90 degree point, then yes your back has to start to curl :) Gently curl your back down and let your hangs. Don't worry about where they touch. They might touch the floor. They might touch your goes. They might touch your knees. It's all fine. Whatever you can do now, be content that you can do that much.

Relax your neck. Let your head hang heavy. If you want, try folding your arms up. That is, let your right hand grasp your left elbow, and your left hand grasp your right elbow. Take in long, deep breaths. Let your spine relax.

Having your head hanging down is a wonderful break for your head and is called an "inversion" - people pay thousands of dollars for inversion tables! This pose lets your head get a break from being held up all the time, lets the blood flows relax, and again as its key benefit it is helping your spine. Your spine needs to be able to be flexible and healthy to support all your nerve systems.

Take good care of your back - it's a critical part of your body!

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