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3/30/10

Fitness Day 9 ~ Sit, stretch and clear your mind

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Is a foundation Yoga pose that greatly helps you go within yourself, in a manner that restores both your body and mind. Sitting in this asana can help a distracted mind, unwind. The literal translation of the term Paschimottanasana is “intense stretch of the west.” In ancient times yogis were known to bow down to the rising sun in the east. Thus by doing this, intense west stretch they aligned themselves on an east-west axis. How deep physically you go into the pose is not half as important as how much you are able to surrender while doing it.


1. From a seated position, with legs out front bring the arms straight out to the sides and up over your head.
2. Inhale and draw the spine up long.
3. As you exhale, begin to come forward, hinging at the hips.
4. On each inhale, extend the spine, and on each exhale, come a bit farther into the forward bend.
5. Keep the neck at the natural extension of the spine.
6. Do not round the back.
7. Take hold of the ankles or shins, whichever you can reach.



Beginners: Put padding under the sit bones if necessary. Imagine the belly coming to rest on your thighs, rather than the nose coming to the knees this will help you keep the spine long instead of curving over.
Advanced: If you can easily grab the soles of your feet, try taking a block in front of the feet and holding that instead.


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"Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment."

Lao Tzu


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