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Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana

Yoga Pose

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Updated July 07, 2012

Uttanasana

Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend

© Barry Stone
Type of pose: Forward bend

Benefits: Stretches and lengthens the hamstrings

Instructions:

1. From Urdhva Hastasana, swan dive the arms out to the side while folding forward.

2. Make sure the fold come from the hips, deepening the hip creases, and not from the back.

3. Bring the fingertips in line with the toes and press the palms flat.

4. Engage the quadriceps muscles of the thighs. The more you use your quads, the more the hamstrings (the muscles on the back of the thighs) will open up.

5. Bring your weight a little bit forward into the balls of your feet so that your hips stay over the ankles.

6. Let your head hang.

Beginners: Bend the knees if you need to in order to bring the palms flat. Then work on straightening the legs.

Advanced: If you are very open in the hamstrings, bend the elbows out to the sides while holding the big toes in a yogi toes lock. If you are holding the pose for a long time, bring the palms flat underneath your feet.

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