Standing Forward Bends in Yoga

It is possible to gain a great deal of physical benefit from practicing Yoga techniques.

In this article I want to expand upon the technique generally known as the full standing forward bend, or to give its correct name, "Uttanasa."


uttanasaUttanasa, or full standing forward bend, is often practiced in most types of Yoga classes. There are plenty of health benefits that you can enjoy through the practice of forward bends such as Uttanasa - this is the reason why this particular posture is often practiced.

Classes such as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and even the restorative type of discipline known as Yin Yoga make use of this type of pose.

In order to do Uttanasa or full standing forward bend properly, you must understand that you need to bend from the hip joints and not from the waist, and try not to round the back as well.

This means that keeping the spine long and straight will make the pose go even deeper, as forward bends are really designed for stretching the hamstrings and keeping the legs strong and the feet grounded.

Starting from Tadasana or Mountain Pose, it is recommended to place the hands on the hips before diving down to full standing forward bend. This way, we can feel if we are doing it correctly if we feel that we are bending from the hip joints.

Bringing the chest forward towards the shin bones is recommended, as this will help draw the front torso out of the groin during descent. This will also result to opening the pubis and top sternum, which is essential to performing the posture correctly. You must be completely focused on lengthening the front or upper torso as you move into the full pose.

Forward bends are regarded as relaxing poses, though this may be a struggle for some people with very tight hamstrings. When done regularly, the hamstrings will be more flexible, and this will cause a calmness to the mind which will bring deep relaxation.

In fact, forward bends are often recommended for those individuals who are suffering from insomnia.