Wide-legged Standing Forward Fold / Prasarita Padottanasana
Release and let go of stagnant energy that is no longer serving you this fall ~ by diving forward into a deeper journey and understanding of this November’s pose of the month, Prasarita Padottanasana. This posture, not unlike many other inversions in yoga asana practice, helps to stimulate your internal organs, revitalize your systems of digestion and circulation, as well as increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain. In regards to the musculoskeletal system - prasarita padottanasana may aid in strengthening several joints and muscles in your body i.e. arches of your feet, your ankles, knees, quadriceps, and other hip flexors; as well as lengthen many joints and muscles in your body i.e. calves, hamstrings, groin, and one’s entire spine! And as this pose alleviates restrictions in your body, the potential for releasing restrictive patterns of thought, feeling, and perceiving arises ~ therefore allowing your entire organism to receive the holistic benefits that can come from practicing the posture and art of letting go.
Traditionally there are four different expressions for the arms to embody in this posture : A, B, C, and D.
With whichever expression of the arms that you choose to embody ~ practice breathing length into the front of your spin with every inhalation and breathing strength and stability into the fronts of your legs with every exhalation. Notice and enjoy how these actions provide the back of your spine and legs with more space!
If your palms are unable to make contact with the ground or if the tightness in your hamstrings is restricting you from finding full length in your spine → welcome props into your practice props! Place your blocks on any height they need to be so that you can place your palms onto their support ~ and bend your knees as much as you need to so that you can extend your spine despite the restriction in your hamstrings!
Lastly if you would like to play around with transitioning out of prasarita padottanasana and into pincha mayurasana (forearm stand) ~ a block in between your palms can be super helpful in keeping your arms activated as you begin to rock your hips over shoulders and fly your fit over your hips!
Enjoy exploring these few (but not all!) ways to experience this forward fold. We hope these tips and variations are helpful and inspiring to any degree! May this posture give your body and mind the space and release they need in order to return to their natural state of wholeness, balance, and harmony ~
Our bodies are expressions of where we’ve come from (what we’ve been through) and where we are striving to move towards; therefore, all bodies and expressions will look drastically different from one another regardless of how similarly we place our bones and engage our muscles. It is not so much about the aesthetics of the form as it is about the sensations of flow that we are attempting to cultivate within these postures. Therefore these images that proceed are not intended to create an ‘ideal’ of what your practice should or should not look like, instead these images are intentionally being used as a means to communicate abstract ideas about anatomy via a more relatable format so that you may be guided into your exploration of this posture verbally as well as visually.