Asanas for Beginners
Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend
- Sit on the edge of a firm blanket with your legs extended in front of you in Staff Pose
- Place your hands on the floor behind your body and lean your torso back slightly. Then open your legs as wide as it is comfortable. Press your hands firmly into the floor and gently bring your buttocks forward along the floor, helping to widen the legs even further. Work toward opening your legs to a 90-degree angle (with the pelvis as the apex), or even wider.
- Keep the tops of your kneecaps and your toes pointing straight up toward the ceiling. Flex your feet and strongly engage your thigh muscles, pressing your legs down toward the floor. Reach out through your heels.
- With your spine long and straight, begin to walk your hands forward between your legs. Maintain the length of your front torso; do not let your back round. You might only walk your hands an inch or two forward, and that is fine.
- Continue to increase your forward bend until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, but do not push it too far. If your spine rounds or if you feel any pinching pain, ease up.
- As you come deeper into the pose, reach your arms to the sides and clasp your big toes by making a loop with your thumbs and first two fingers. Bend your elbows out to the sides. Keep the front of your torso long. Gaze forward and place your chin on the mat.
- Hold for up to three minutes. Gently walk your hands back toward your body, bringing your torso upright while keeping your spine long. Bend your knees and bring your legs back together in Staff Pose.
Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend Modifications & Variations
Wide-Angel Seated Forward Fold is a calming and rejuvenating stretch when practiced correctly. However, that might sound unattainable if your hamstrings are tight! With practice and dedication, though, your hamstrings and spine will lengthen and become more limber. Remember to take it slowly and never push yourself in the pose. Try these changes to find a variation of the pose that works for you:
- If your hamstrings or low back are tight, bend your knees slightly. If you’re very stiff, you can place a rolled-up yoga mat under your knees.
- For a greater challenge, widen the angle between your legs beyond 90 degrees.
- If you are not yet able to bring your torso forward to the floor, rest your torso instead on a folded blanket placed in front of you between your legs.
Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend Pose Benefits
- Stretches the insides and backs of the legs
- Stimulates the abdominal organs
- Strengthens the spine
- Calms the brain
- Releases groins
Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend Pose Theraputic Applications
- Detoxes kidneys