Paschimottanasana is a SANSKRIT word that means Paschima means "West or "Back", Uttana means "Intense stretch", Asana means "Pose". This is also said as "Seated Forward Bend" or the "Intense Dorsal Stretch" in English. This pose is an excellent asana help to improve your Physical health as well as mental Health. This asana is the best exercise for stretch to the entire body.
Proper sit on the floor with legs stretched out in front of your face. slowly raise your hands upwards and keep your spine straight. Bend forward and place your upper body on your lower body while breathing out. Lower your hands and grip your big toes with your fingers. Try to touch your knees with your nose. Hold the posture for 10 seconds or as you are comfortable and relax the pose few minutes and start again with the same steps.
Benefits of Paschimottanasana yoga:
There are the most important health benefits of Paschimottanasana are,
1. Paschimottanasana is the best asana for stretching the lower back, hamstrings, and hips and tones the shoulders muscles.
2. Regular practice of this pose helps to reduce anxiety and fatigue and makes the body full day of energy.
3. This asana massages and tones the abdominal and pelvic organs.
4. This pose helps to improve digestion regularly and reduce constipation problems.
5. This asana help stimulate the proper functions of the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus.
6. Regular Practices of Paschimottanasana helps to decrease insomnia problem and promote a better night's sleep.
7. This asana helps to burn unwanted fat near the abdominal area.
8. Paschimottanasana is very useful to calm the brain and decrease stress and mild depression.
9. This pose is also useful to reduce pain and discomfort caused by menstruation situations.
10. Regular practices of this asana will have a soothing effect on your nervous system and you feel rejuvenated in your life.
Step by step Paschimottasana yoga:
1. Sit on the floor with the legs extended straight in front. Put the palms on the floor by the side of the hips. Take a few deep breaths. (Step 1)
2. Breath out, extend the hands and catch the toes. Stay the right big toe between the right thumb and the index and middle fingers and likewise the left big toe. (Step 2)
3. Stretch the spine and try to keep the back concave. To stand with the back will be like a hump. This is due to stretching the spine only from the area of the shoulders. Learn to bend right from the pelvic region of the back and also to stretch the arms from the shoulders. Then the hump will disappear and the back will become flat as in Step 3 Take a few deep breaths.
4. Now breath out, curve and widen the elbows, using them as levers, pull the trunk forward and touch the forehead to the knees. (Plate 154.) Gradually rest the elbows on the floor, stretch the neck and trunk, touch the knees with the nose and then with the lips. (Step 4)
5. When this becomes easy, make a further effort to grip the soles and rest the chin on the knees. (Step 5)
6. When this also becomes easy, clasp the hands by interlocking the fingers and rest the chin on the shins beyond the knees. (Step 6)
7. When position 6 becomes easy, grip the right palm with the left hand or the left palm with the right hand beyond the outstretched feet and keep the back concave. (Step 7) Take a few deep breaths.
8. Breath out and rest the chin on the shins beyond the knees. (Step 8)
9. If position 8 also becomes easy, hold the right wrist with the left hand or the left wrist with the right hand and rest the chin on the shins beyond the knees. (Step 9)
10. See that the back of the legs at the knee joints rests firmly on the ground. In the initial stages the knees will be lifted off the floor. Tighten the muscles at the back of the thighs and pull the trunk forward. Then the back of the knee joints will rest on the floor.
11. Try and hold in whichever of the above positions you can achieve from I to 5 minutes, breathing evenly.
12. Advanced pupils may extend the hand straight, rest the palms on the floor, join the thumbs beyond the outstretched feet and rest the chin on the shins beyond the knees. (Step 11) Stay for a minute or two with even breathing.
13. Breath in, raise the head from the knees and relax.
14. One does not feel any weight on the back in correct Paschimottanasana. (Step 12)