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Back Stretching Pose (Paschimottanasana)

Paschimottanasana is an Indian translation for Back Stretching pose. This asana should ideally precede or follow backward bending asanas such as setuasana, chakrasana, bhujangasana, or matsyasana. You can learn this asana below:


Routine Consciousness
Breathing Pattern Benefits
Contraindications  


Routine:

  • Sit on the floor with outstretched legs.
  • Hold the legs together and place your hands on the knees.
  • This is the initial position.
  • Relax and then slowly bend the hips forward.
  • Move the hands down the legs.
  • Attempt to grasp the big toes with the fingers and thumbs.
  • Even if you find unable to do so hold at least the heels, ankles or any leg part.
  • Go slow without any pressure or force.
  • Remain in this pose for a while.
  • Relax the back and leg muscles and stretch them gently.
  • Maintain the legs straight.
  • Slowly bring the torso down towards the legs.
  • Maintain a firm grip on the toes, feet or legs.
  • Attempt to touch the knees with the forehead.
  • Do not strain.
  • This is the final position.
  • Remain in this pose for comfortable period.
  • Beginners may perform this with shorter holding period for five cylcles.
  • The adept may increase the duration up to five minutes.
  • Relax and slowly return to the initial position.
  • This completes the first cycle.

Breathing Pattern:

  • Inhale in the initial pose.
  • Exhale slowly when you bend forward.
  • Inhale in the static pose
  • Exhale when you bring the torso further towards the legs with arms.
  • Breathe slow and deep in the final pose
  • Inhale when you return to the initial pose

Consciousness:

  • Physical- on the abdomen, relaxation of the back muscles or the slow breathing process
  • Spiritual-on swadhisthana chakra

Benefits:

  • Stretches the hamstring muscles
  • Increases hip joints flexibility
  • Tones and massages the entire abdominal and pelvic region including the liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands.
  • Removes excess weight and alleviates disorders of the uro-genital system
  • Stimulates nerves circulation and spine muscles.
  • Management of prolapse
  • Menstrual disorders, sluggish liver
  • Diabetes
  • Colitis
  • Kidney complaints
  • Bronchitis and
  • Eosinophilia

Contraindications:

  • Slipped disc
  • Sciatica

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