Standing Forward Bend
Padahastasana, or the standing forward bend (literally feet to hands pose), is the eleventh posture in the sequence of 12 basic postures of hatha yoga. It is an inverted posture which provides many of the same benefits of the seated forward bend: the main physical benefit is to stretch the entire backside of the body from the head to the heels.
- Stretches the hamstrings on the back of the legs
- Stretches and lengthens the entire spine
- Massages the internal organs, especially the digestive organs
- Relieves digestive problems such as constipation
- Relieves problems with sciatica
- Invigorates the nervous system
- Increases the supply of blood to the brain
- Removes flesh from the abdomen
Energetic (Pranic) Benefits
- Removes tamas, or inertia
To begin, come to a standing position at the front end of your mat with your legs close together.
- Inhale and lift your arms straight up over your head with your arms touching your ears.
- Exhale and bend forward from the hips as shown in the photograph, keeping your back straight as long as possible. Keep your legs straight with the weight of the body over the balls of the feet. Feel that the hips are lifting up and the body is falling away from the hips.
- If possible, put your hands flat on the floor, or wrap your fingers around the big toes. If you can't reach the floor you can also wrap your hands around the back of your legs.
- Try to bring the head in as close to the knees as possible with the neck relaxed.
- In the beginning, hold the posture for 5 seconds, gradually working up to 1 minute or more.
To come out of the posture inhale and slowly roll the body up bringing the head up last.
The standing forward bend is part of the basic yoga class.