Wide-Legged Forward Bend - Prasarita Padottanasana (2 Eggs)

"With this asana, the hamstring muscles are fully developed, while blood is made to flow to the trunk and head. Those who cannot do Sirsasana (headstand) can benefit from this pose, which increases digestive powers." - B.K.S. Iyengar
 
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Where To

  • Under the hands

Why To

  • Using the Eggs under the hands adds extension to the arms so that you can bring more attention to the rotation of the pelvis and the alignment of the spine.

How To

  1. Begin with an Egg in each hand.
  2. Stand with your feet approximately 3-1/2 to 4 feet apart, keeping the inner edges of feet parallel.
  3. Press down through all four corners of your feet, being conscious of the connection between the mound of the big toe and the ground.
  4. Lift your toes so your weight shifts and spreads across the feet ensuring that the inner arches don’t collapse.
  5. Keep your legs active by engaging the quadriceps, drawing your kneecaps up toward your groin.
  6. On an inhale, lengthen up out of your lower back, while keeping the lower front ribs soft.
  7. With an Egg in each hand begin to fold forward, hinging at the hip.
  8. Bring your hands down directly beneath your shoulders while keeping the arms straight. Fingers should be facing forward, parallel to the feet. Keep the hand and forearm in line with one another.
  9. Press the tops of the thighs back towards the wall behind you as your allow your pelvis to rotate up and over your femur heads. This action allows you to maintain a straight spine while folding forward.
  10. Looking down toward your feet, make sure that your toes aren’t gripping. If they are, shift your weight slightly back toward your heels without rounding the lower back.
  11. Bring your awareness back to your legs. Be mindful that your knees are facing forward, as oppose to rolling inward.
  12. Keeping your hands under your shoulders, lengthen the front of your torso from your pubic bone to your collarbones. Expanding the front body often times leads to an arch in the back. Breath across your upper back and draw your lower back ribs away from your pelvis to maintain the extension along your spine.
  13. Broaden across your collarbones as you inhale, and on an exhale bend your arms and walk your hands back toward the feet, keeping the hands shoulder distance apart.
  14. Keep the shoulder blades moving down the back as you lengthen your neck, drawing the shoulder heads away from your ears.
  15. The crown of the head is being drawn away from the tailbone and towards the floor.
  16. Only fold forward as far as you can while maintaining a straight spine.
  17. Being that Prasarita Padottanasana is a mild inversion, it has the ability to calm the mind and bring a sense of stillness and introspection. To facilitate a deeper sense of relaxation bring an Egg underneath your forehead in order to release any tension in the neck. (Multiple Eggs stacked may be necessary if flexibility is limited.)
  18. Hold here for at least 5 breaths.
  19. On an inhale walk the hands out under the shoulders and place the Eggs on end as you straighten your arms.
  20. Continue to maintain the straight spine as you draw your navel in towards the spine and slightly up.
  21. On your next inhale bring yourself back to a standing position.

When Not To

  • If you suffer from lower back problems, maintain the Eggs in the highest position.

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