What is the meaning of Paschimottanasana?
Paschimottanasana is a sitting forward bending yoga pose wherein intense stretch is experienced on the west. Though, to some extent, it comes under advanced yoga, however, after mastering the practice, it become easy to practice and simultaneously heralds numerous health benefits such as burning of belly fat, strengthening the spine, weight loss, etc. Paschimottanasana also comes with some contraindications. Therefore, initially, it should be practiced without taking any extra pressure. Since, Paschimottanasana is a Sanskrit name; it is pronounced as (POSH-ee-moh-tan-AHS-anna) wherein paschimottana= intense stretch of the west (pashima west
uttana= intense stretch).
How to do Paschimottanasana step by step
- Sit on the ground, stretching both the legs in front. Place hands by the sides with palms resting on the ground. Fingers should remain together pointing forward.
- Loosen your back muscles and bend the body forward as far as possible.
- Maintaining this pose for as long as comfortable.
- To come back, loosen your hands and place them where they are comfortable. It would be easier if they are put on the thighs.
- Practise this asana daily and keep trying forward bending little more till you are able to hold big toes of the legs with forefingers of respective hands. The navel should be touching the thighs.
- Bring chest and head close to the legs as much as possible; and place the elbows by the sides of the legs on the ground.
- Maintain the posture as per the capacity. Come back by raising chest and head from the legs.
What are the health benefits of Paschimottanasan
- The yoga pose is good for the overall health benefits of the spine. If you are comfortable in practicing the seated forward bend yoga, it gives adequate stretch to the entire spinal region as well as the associated nerves.
- It is beneficial for those who desire to have flat stomach. The practicing of the asana, provides suitable stretch to the belly and also dashed with the legs. Those who perform it on regular basis , experience burning of belly fat too.
- It helps in secretion of gastric juices. The abdominal region gets suitable massage by practicing the pose thereby helpful in secretion of juices and ensure digestion and prevents constipation.
- It helps in the prevention and management of diabetes as the yoga pose gives a massage to the pancreas thus ensures secretion of insulin.
- Since, the pelvic region experiences adequate massage due to the practice of the pose. Thus good to prevent gynecological disorders such as menopause and menstrual discomfort.
- Very few yoga poses are beneficial for kidney. Paschimottanasana is one of the pose, which shows its impact on the functioning of kidney and liver.
- It is also known as stress relieving yoga pose because of its coordination between nervous and pranic energies within the body.
- Its practice enhances blood flow to the head region thus good for those who have headache and migraines.
- It is one of the best yoga poses to make your hamstrings strong and solid.
- It helps to enhance your appetite by increasing the efficiency of metabolism.
Contraindications of Paschimottanasana
Though, the seated forward bend yoga comes with numerous health benefits, however, it has some contraindications too.
- Back injury
- Abdominal ulcer
- Slipped Disc
Modifications and variations of Paschimottanasana
The practicing of paschimottanasana is not so easy. It needs regular practice to harness its benefits. If somebody has muscular flexibility, the performing of the pose has become easier for him. However, many people faces problems to reach the final stage of this pose. Before practicing forward seated pose, one should perform EkaPada Janu Sirsasana. This pose will help u to practice paschimottanasana easily. The Sun Salutation is also quite effective to reduce body stiffness.