Yoga for Beginners Intro – Part 7 of 20

Standing Forward Fold
Sanskrit Name: Uttanasana
Ut = deliberate, intense
Tan = stretch, extend
Uttana = deliberate extension

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Yoga for Beginners Intro – Part 7: Standing Forward Fold

Sanskrit Name: Uttanasana
Ut = deliberate, intense
Tan = stretch, extend
Uttana = deliberate extension

Benefits:

  • Releases and stretches the entire backside of the body especially the hamstrings and lower back.
  • Lengthens and releases tension in the spine
  • Inversion – brings oxygen to the brain
  • Tones the liver, spleen and kidneys
  • Massages the internal organs
  • Reduces the heart rate
  • Rejuvenates the nervous system
  • Increases circulation
  • Strengthens and tones the thighs, calves, gluteal muscles and back
  • Calming and soothing to the mind

Points:

  • Be gentle with yourself; go slow and steady
  • Relax, surrender, let go
  • Feel free to bend the knees if you want to, especially if the fingers don’t touch the ground
  • Keep the feet a few inches apart and parallel; if the knees are bent keep the knees the same distance as the ankles (don’t let the knees roll in)

Modifications:

  • Another option if the fingers don’t reach the ground is to put your hands on your thighs, shins or on yoga blocks so the stretch is not too intense anywhere

High Lunge:

Also called The Monkey Pose
Sanskrit Name: Banarasana
Banara = monkey

Benefits:

  • Increases flexibility in the quadriceps of the back leg as well as the hamstring muscles of the front leg
  • Stretches the hip flexor muscles deep in the pelvis (which are important for correct posture)
  • Brings balance and proper alignment to the pelvis and lower back
  • Prepares the body for other standing postures such as Warrior I and Warrior II

Points:

  • Keep the front leg at a 90 degree angle. Knee directly above the ankle and pointing towards the second and third toe
  • Keep the back leg lifted, strong and steady
  • Sink down through the hips

Modification:

  • Hands on yoga blocks on either side of the ankle
  • Back knee down (low lunge)

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