Let’s Talk Poses: How To Practice Seated Forward Bend

How to Do Seated Forward Bend in Yoga
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) is a classic pose. It gives the whole back of your body a good stretch, from your calves to your hamstrings (back of the thighs) to your spine.


Seated forward fold provides a deep stretch for entire back side of body from the heels to the neck. Forward fold calms the nervous system and emotions and stimulates the reproductive and urinary systems.

Try It Out 

  • From Staff pose, inhale the arms up over the head, lift and lengthen up through the fingers and crown of the head.
  • Exhale hinge at the hips, slowly lower the torso towards the legs.  Reach the hands to the toes, feet or ankles.
  • To deepen the stretch: Use the arms to gently pull the head and torso closer to the legs. Press out through the heels and gently draw the toes towards you.
  • Breathe and hold for 3-8 breaths.
  • To release: Slowly roll up the spine back into Staff pose.  Inhale the arms back over your head as you lift the torso back into Staff pose.

Modifications + Variations 

Modifications: If you cannot reach your hands to the feet: Use a yoga strap around the feet and hold on to the strap with both hands.  Bend the knees enough to reach the feet with the hands and to place the head on the knees.

Variations: If you have the flexibility, reach the hands in front of the foot, clasping hand to wrist.

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