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Yoga Posture of the Month – May Paschimottanasana – forward bend from a seated position

May 10th, 2017

Yoga position seated forward bend


Paschimottanasana – forward bend from seated position

This posture is a “complete stretch to the North of the body”, which includes the legs, and spine all the way through to the neck. It’s a tricky pose to do well and some people like to practise it with a block tucked under the back of their pelvis to help with forward movement.



  • Improves flexibility in the hamstrings
  • Improves flexibility and strength in the spine
  • Enables quite reflection as you relax into the posture
  • Helps to improve pelvic mobility

How to do it

Begin from a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you:

  • Sit upright with your weight tilted slightly forward on your pelvis
  • If you find this difficult, practise at first with your back supported by a wall so that you begin to feel the stretch in your legs
  • As you breathe in, raise both arms overhead
  • As you breathe out, reach gently forward and rest your hands on your legs – don’t worry at this stage how far down your leg they reach
  • Holding your legs lightly, breathe in and lengthen your spine from the tail to the top of your head
  • As you breathe out begin to lengthen your spine forward
  • Keep your head in line with your spine – if you drop your head forward your spine will start to curve
  • Feel and relax into the stretch in your back and in your legs
  • If you find the stretch on your legs is too much, allow them to bend in towards your chest a little and you will feel the release of tension
  • Breathe gently and hold the position
  • On your next breath in, return to an upright sitting position with your hands at your sides

Things to watch

  • Use each breath out to help you relax into your back and legs
  • Keep your tail bone in contact with the floor – this ensures that the stretch continues right into the lower back
  • Feel your back muscles and stomach muscles working in harmony to keep the movement steady and controlled

Here is a link for more info about the posture:


Izzy Ixer

British Wheel of Yoga Dip Yoga Tutor and Coach

You can find out more about Izzy here and about yoga at the Centre here

Twitter @IzzyIxer or @IzzyYoga


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