Uttanasana or standing forward fold posture provides a great stretch to the legs and it improves flexibility of the spine. It is considered an inversion, so a fresh supply of blood is brought to the head as you bend forward making it an energising pose for the mind.
1. Start in Tadasana (mountain pose).
2. Inhale and raise your arms above the head.
3. Exhale and forward fold.
4. Keep the spine long, bring the navel toward the thighs and your head to the knees or shins.
5. Your hands can be on the mat in front of your feet or around the calves.
Ardha Uttanasana - Half forward fold (bring them to your shins as you fold forward half way)
Stretches the legs
Tones the abdomen
Massages the digestive organs
Stretches the arms
Releases tension from the back
Energises the mind
Releases nervous tensions and symptoms of stress and anxiety
Contraindications: (consult this pose with your general medical practitioner if you have the following)
Pregnancy (practice a variation by resting your hands on a chair back or a table top and lengthen your spine. Keep legs straight)
*As this is considered an inversion pose by bringing the head down, always ensure you get out of the pose very gently. Do not rush out of the pose and get all the way up.