Pose of the Month: Uttanasana – Forward Fold

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Pose of the Month: Uttanasana – Forward Fold

If we asked our Teacher Trainee’s the posture they considered most Kind, that embodied the three elements of Kindness, we’d get Balasana, Child’s Posture, and our Pose of the Month, Uttanasana, Forward Fold. When we look for ways to be friendly, generous and considerate to a variety of areas of the body, Uttanasana meets those definitions in so many ways. 

We often discuss the important role that inversions have to the body, and to the nervous system. When many of us think of inversions, we immediately go to something that moves from the ground, and lifts its way up, a Shoulder Stand, a Head Stand. There are other perspectives and ways to find this sense of kindness and restoration in the body. There are also many standing Inversions, which offer us ALL the same benefits, and at times is more accessible… I have found it easier to move into a Forward Fold in my office than to lay down and move into a Shoulder Stand or Plow (perhaps this is just me :). Take relief and give yourself this kindness where you can. 

Coming into Forward Fold: Uttanasana:

  • Find your way to Tadasana – Mountain Pose, with the feet firmly, yet comfortably grounded, often at hips distance. 
  • Inhale arms overhead, shoulders remain grounded as much as possible. 
  • Exhale, allow weight to slightly transfer towards the heels, engage the glutes, and with long spine, fold at the hips as much as feels good. 
  • Take a bend in the knees, some days it may be a soft bend while others may be a full bend in the knees. 
  • A restorative Uttanasana takes a nice deep bend in the knees, and allows the forearms to rest on the thighs, feeling the length and traction in the low back. 
  • Other variations are to allow the hands to drift towards the floor. 
  • We may even way to find opposite and to opposite elbow, cradling the arms, and some even add a little sway from side to side here. 

Find your kindness, that space that offers the opportunity to be considerate, friendly and generous to the body, you will not be disappointed. Allowing our bodies space is the ultimate gift, and the spine, the brain and the breath will feel better for this flip in perspective and this opportunity to develop space and stillness! Enjoy 🙂