Prasarita Padottadasana or wide legged forward bend pose is a great asana for stretching the legs, particularly the thighs. It is also an inversion so it is an energising pose boosting circulation.
1. Start on the long side of the mat with the feet wide apart and parallel to one another. Place your hands on the hips.
2. Keep the spine long and pelvis neutral.
3. Inhale and lengthen the spine.
4. Exhale and slowly start to forward fold, bringing the navel towards the thighs and the crown of the head on the mat (or towards the mat).
5. Place your palms on the mat and bend the elbows or catch the big toes with the first two fingers and thumb of each hand and bend the elbows.
6. Keep the legs straight and feet parallel to one another.
Stretches the legs, groins, hips and back
Improves flexibility in the spine
Tones the abdomen
Improves balance on the feet
Strengthens the legs
Stretches the arms and shoulder blades
Releases symptoms of stress and anxiety
Energises the mind
Contraindications: (consult this pose with your general medical practitioner if you have the following)
Low or high blood pressure