This post is part of our Yoga for Wellness Series with Well.ca’s resident yoga expert (& Warehouse Associate) Carolyn Evans! Join us every other Tuesday as Carolyn guides you through a new pose or sequence and teaches you about its benefits.
Standing forward bend is a highly popular yoga pose. It’s a deep stretch for the hamstrings and brings about stress relief. It is also an essential pose within a Sun Salutation (which we will look at a little later on!) Standing forward fold is one of the yoga poses that I include in all of my personal yoga sessions, as well as the classes I teach!
- Start standing in Mountain pose (Tadasana) at the top of your mat.
- As you exhale, keep feet together or step them hips width apart.
- On an exhale, begin folding forward, hindging from the hip joints and not from the waist.
- While folding, root your heels into the ground while lifting your sit bones up towards the sky. Take note that there should be a real emphasis on lengthening through the front torso and through the spine as you move fully into the posture.
- If you can, keeping your legs straight, bring your palms to the floor, backs of your heels or grab oposite elbows.
- Standing forward bend can be a posture on its own, or used as a resting posture between standing poses. Hold posture for 30 seconds.
- When coming up, do not roll up. Instead bring your hands back to your waist. Lengthen the torso and slowly bring yourself up keeping your spine as stright as possible.
Tips and Alignment Cues:
- If you have tight hamstrings or cannont reach the ground or the backs of your heels, bend your kness as much as you need to, keeping your spine nice and long.
- With each inhalation come half way up, lift and lengthening your torso slightly, and with every exhalation folding a little deeper into the posture.
- Allow your head to hang, releasing any tension from the neck.
- To help deepen into the posture, try grabbing your big toes with your peace fingers, allowing your elbows to go outwards as you fold deeper.
Tips for Beginners:
- Resting your buttocks against a wall in this posture will help with balance.
- Bend knees in this posture if you have tight hamstrings.
- Stretches hamstrings, hips and calves
- Helps relieve stress and mild depression
- Improves digestion
- Helps relieve symptoms of menopause
- Releives headache and insomnia
- Stimiulates the liver and kidneys
I am a warehouse associate here at Well.ca, and I’m also Certified Hatha-Vinyasa Yoga Instructor from Guelph. Yoga has helped and encouraged me to step into my true self, and I feel like anyone and everyone can benefit from practising yoga, which is why I feel the need to share my passion with the world! ♥ Namaste