Yoga Basics: Seated Forward Fold or Paschimottanasana

(Be sure to subscribe to our YOUTUBE channel)

In this Yoga Basics tutorial, you will learn all about Seated Forward Fold or Paschimottanasana in Sanskrit.  This is a basic yoga pose found in many different types of yoga classes and has many different ways you can practice.  Here, Jennifer talks about “best practices” you can do to help keep your back safe and pain-free, based on the alignment you will find in most Ashtanga Yoga based studios.

Key points to remember when practicing your Paschimottanasana:

1) Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched.

2)  If you can’t sit up straight, try raising your hips up by sitting on a blanket, bolster or cushion.

3) Draw your belly button to spine (to engage your abdominal muscles)

4) Forward fold over your extended legs.

5) If your knees are bent and this is uncomfortable, you can always put a blanket under your knees as well to support them.

6)  Reach your forehead down to your shins

7) Hold your shoulders down and away from the ears.

8) Don’t look up too much to overly bend your neck.  Remember, you want to keep your spine long, and looking up will cause a steep bend in the cervical.

9) Hold this for several breaths.  If your knees don’t straighten, that’s ok.  Keep practicing!

Remember, always keep your stomach muscles engaged and try not to tilt that tail bone out.  (this cue can reduce back pain). You also want to try not to look up. You’re letting the top of your head reach forward to keep your cervical long.

What Seated Forward Fold Do?

This pose is GREAT to help loosen up those tight hamstrings.  It also helps create some space in your back and calves. It’s a super calming pose but usually needs you to be pretty warmed before really getting into it because hamstrings usually aren’t the most excited about stretching without first being warmed up.  Think about it like they need a “dinner and a movie” to start loosening up! This pose also feels good if you’re having stomach cramps.

Chattanooga’s Thrive Yoga and Wellness and Thrive Online

If you would like to learn more about Jennifer or if you would like to practice with Jennifer in person and you’re in the Chattanooga, TN area, check out www.Thrive Yoga and Wellness.com.  We offer almost 40 classes each week in a variety of modalities from beginners to advanced, to chair and seniors all the way to super physical HIT yoga. It’s a great studio in the suburbs with ample parking and the community vibe. 

Or if you’re not in the area and still want to practice with me, you can totally do it for free, virtually inside the Thrive Online community.  

In this video, I was practicing on my Mantra Lux Pro mat.  A Chattanooga Based Yoga and Lifestyle company. This post was written by Jennifer Dixon MBA ERYT 500 and Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher.  She is the lead teacher in the Thrive Yoga and Wellness 200 hr Yoga For Every Body Teacher Training program: the Chattanooga area’s ONLY modular 200 hr Yoga Alliance approved Teacher Training program that allows you to train when YOUR schedule allows.  With two semesters each year and plenty of opportunities to practice and train year-round, this is the BEST yoga teacher training program for busy folks. Gone are the stresses about missed training weekends, you don’t have to worry about exhaustion and tears from super long intense weekend training every month–with the Thrive Yoga Teacher Training program, you train when your schedule allows and live your best life now.  Yoga Teacher Training should be fun, come practice with us and let us show you how! Another great perk of training at Thrive? You get an unlimited membership to the studio for one full year while you train! NO ONE ELSE offers this amazing deal (worth $1100!) and it’s the PERFECT way to get the training you want with the practice you need. Our next semester starts in August of 2019! See you on the mat soon!