The Standing Forward Bend, or Uttanasana, both relaxes and invigorates. In Sanskrit, ut means "intense" and tan translates to "stretch" or "extend." This is a great pose to perform between other standing asanas.
About Standing Forward Bend
This posture, also sometimes called the Standing Forward Fold, looks easy, and it is, but it also has strong benefits:
- Releases stress from the body and mind
- Provides a deep release of the hamstrings
- Rejuvenates the mind
Step into the Pose
To Perform Standing Forward Bend
- Begin in Mountain Yoga Pose.
- Inhale and place your hands on your hips.
- Exhale, and fold forward from the hips, keeping the torso long and extended.
- As you bend, try not to lock the knees.
- You should be able to touch your chest to your thighs, hands on the floor or behind the legs.
- With each breath, keep lengthening the torso, head loosened from the neck.
- Hold this pose for a minute or longer, until you feel all tension release.
- When you come up, keep the torso long and the back flat.
For more instructions on Standing Forward Bend, visit Yoga Journal.
Resting your hands on a block helps you feel how far forward you can bend easily without straining the back.
Rise up on the balls of your feet so that your heels come up about a half-inch off the floor. Hold through a breath cycle, then release.