Prasarita Padottanasana is a forward bending asana in which the legs are kept wide. Hence, it is known as wide legged forward bending posture. After doing a few demanding asanas, especially backward bending asanas, you can do Prasarita Padottanasana to align, soothe and rebalance the body and mind. This asana is an ideal counter asana to all backward bending asanas.
Procedure of Prasarita Padottanasana
- From a standing position, you should inhale and jump off the right foot, so that you land in a position of wide stance.
- When you outstretch your hands, the feet should be nearly under the hands as much as possible with the feet parallel to each other.
- You should ensure that your feet remain strong with your inner arches lifted by drawing the inner ankles up.
- The big toes should be on the floor and outer edge of the feet firm.
- You can draw your thighs up and engage them for the next position.
- If possible, you can move your hands so that the palms are behind your back and the fingers of the hands clasped together. If you find this position somewhat difficult initially, you can hold your opposite elbows with your hands.
- You should now inhale to lengthen the front portion of your body and exhale to fold forward from your hips. The back should remain straight and the chest fully open. You should slowly take the top of your head towards the floor.
- If you have your hands clasped behind the back, the arms should also move towards the floor with the head all the way. You will be able to feel a good sensation on the backside of your shoulder blades.
- When you are fully bent forward, you can release your head down and place the crown of the head with a lengthening neck on the floor.
- You can move your hands from behind the back and place them close to your head on the floor on either side or move them to hold the big toes of your feet. You can also move your hands to hold the hips when the head is touching the floor or stretch your hands behind your back as far as you can move them.
- You can maintain this pose for 5 to 10 breaths.
- It is very important to keep the back and the front portion of your body open as long as possible. However, you should be careful that your hamstrings do not get overstretched.
- You should inhale slowly and lift your back up by putting the pressure on your feet to come out of this posture.
Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana
Prasarita Padottanasana stretches the inside of your legs and your back. It opens up your hip. It also stretches your spine, chest and shoulders. It relieves mild headaches. Prasarita Padottanasana calms your mind, tones up the internal organs, provides more energy to the lungs and the heart, strengthens your legs and exercises the knee joints and hips effectively.