The Utkata Pascimottanasana, also known as the “Full Head to Knee Pose” or “Seated Forward Bend” is one of the basic yoga postures. The name is derived from the Samskrta words ‘paschima’, which means “west” or “back of the body”; ‘uttana’, which means “straight” or “extended”, and asana which means “posture” or “seat.” This posture is great for extending the spine to its maximum length and is thus good for the back and spinal column, consequently stretching muscles of the spine. It also helps in curing constipation and chest defects, and aids in burning abdominal fat.
Those with diseases of the liver, spleen, appendix or hernia should NOT practice his a’sana.
How to Execute Utkata Pascimottanasana:
- Lie in supine position and extend the arms above the head, keeping them close to the ears.
- Slowly rise, exhaling and bending the entire torso forward, with hands still above the head, the face nearly reaching between the knees. Both legs must remain straight.
- Catch both big toes with both hands, and hold for eight seconds.
- Slowly go back to supine posture while inhaling.
- This posture is a counter bend for the Wheel pose and the Bow pose. It should. be practiced with the elbows touching the ground.