Yoga Postures - Paschimottanasana (Ugrasana)


Paschimottanasana (Ugrasana) (Back-stretching Pose)

Method:

A) Stretch both legs straight out in front of the body.

B) Inhale and raise hands over head, keeping the back straight.

C) Exhale and bend forward from the hips, stretching the hands out towards the toes (if toes can be comfortably touched or held, do so. Otherwise, feel a sense of completeness regardless of how far you can stretch - e.g., holding knees, calf muscles, etc.). The spinal cord should feel stretched. The back should be straight - not curved or hunched. One may use a towel or rope around the toes to begin to sit properly.

D) Place the forehead on the knees if comfortably reached. Keep the knees on the floor.

E) Breathe normally, concentrating on the navel or on a mantra.

F) Inhale and gently raise the arms up over the head while sitting upright.

G) Exhale and bring the hands to the knees.

Benefits: Increases digestive power, physical lassitude vanishes; the breath is soon controlled and miseries are dispelled, diabetes. Prana (air) enters the sushumna (the western or inner path).

Precautions: Practice other postures first to loosen the back’s muscles and nerves; and the hamstrings and spine.

Doshas: All; also for Kapha sinus headaches.