Paschimottanasana - Seated Forward Bend – Sue Fuller

This posture allows the whole body to relax and release tension, it is great for internalising your focus and bringing your energy levels down if you feel over energised.

Paschimottanasana - Seated Forward BendWhen the posture is held the connective tissues and the fascia are able to release any deep held tension around the lower back, hips and also the backs of the legs.  If you are able to soften the shoulders and allow your head to hang you will find that you release tension across the tops of the shoulders and from the back of the neck as well.

The instructions that I will give you below are for a long held Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend), it can be instructed hinging from the hips and maintaining a straight spine both are correct and different variations of the same posture.

Begin sitting with a straight spine, extend your legs straight ahead of you with a small space between your feet, so that if you were standing your feet would be under your hips (this variation can be kinder on the body, advanced practitioners might like to join the insides of the legs and feet).  Direct your toes up so that you reach out through your eels.

Breathe in and sit tall on your exhalation slowly allow the upper body to move forwards hinging from the hips.  Once you have moved forwards as far as is comfortable relax your chin onto your chest, allow your shoulders to roll forwards and release away from your ears.  Allow the weight of your upper body to carry you into the posture.

If you are experiencing pulling in the backs of the legs bend your knees a little.

Breathe slowly, if you are able to, remain in this position for three minutes to help release any deep set tension.

Sue Fuller is the creator of the Yoga 2 Hear range of audio yoga classes.  Sue has a range of over 60 different audio yoga classes available on CD or MP3, the range includes classes for the absolute beginner right through to strong classes for more advanced practitioners.