Forward bending is a passive process in which gravity is utilized to stretch the muscle groups being focused upon. While backward bends move the body away from the confines of gravity, forward bending asanas use gravity to help release tension and pain. It is a process of introversion, counteracting the extroversion and dynamic opening up of bending backwards. Forward bending, associated with chest compression and exhalation, induces relaxation. This series ‘forward Bending Yoga Poses’ is mentioned in the book ‘Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha’ by Swami Satyananda Saraswati under the Intermediate yoga poses. In this article, we will be learning about all the asanas mentioned in the Forward Bending Yoga Poses, and the general benefits and precautions of this series.
Benefits of Forward Bending Yoga Poses
- Forward bending asanas loosen up the back, maintaining good health and increasing vitality.
- These practices move the spine into the position known as the primary curve, the shape it takes in the womb. During a forward bending asana each of the vertebrae is separated, stimulating the nerves, improving circulation around the spine and nourishing the spinal cord.
- Forward bending asanas have a positive impact on the organs of the body generally and on the brain specifically. This group of asanas is also very important for making the back muscles supple and strong, compressing and massaging the abdominal organs, including the liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines, and stretching the leg muscles and tendons.
- Bending from the hips gives greater flexibility of movement and creates stronger pressure against the abdomen.
Precautions of Forward Bending Yoga Poses
- It is not advisable to practice all the forward bending asanas one after the other. Start with the preliminary practices and gradually build up to the more advanced ones as the back becomes more flexible.
- A balanced program of forward and then backward bending asanas should be carefully maintained.
- People with any kind of back condition and those suffering from backache should consult a doctor before practising these asanas.
- When practising forward bending asanas from a sitting position, particularly those in which the legs are separated, it is helpful to sit with the perineum on the floor, rather than sitting on the coccyx. The correct position is obtained by sitting with the legs slightly separated and placing the hands on the floor, on either side of the hips, with the fingertips pointing forward. Then, using the arms and hands as supports, lift the buttocks slightly from the floor and, while lowering them, tilt the pelvis forward.
Yoga Poses in the forward bending yoga series
- Saithalyasana – Animal Relaxation Pose In Yoga
- Paschimottanasana – Back Stretching Pose In Yoga
- Gatyatmak Paschimottanasana – Dynamic Back Stretch Pose In Yoga
- Pada Prasar Paschimottanasana – Legs Spread Back Stretch Pose In Yoga
- Janu Sirshasana – Head To Knee Pose In Yoga
- Ardha Padma Paschimottanasana – Half Lotus Back Stretching Pose In Yoga
- Hasta Padangushthasana – Finger To Toe Stretch In Yoga
- Meru Akarshanasana – Spinal Bending Pose In Yoga
- Padahastasana – Hand To Foot Pose In Yoga
- Sirsha Angustha Yogasana – Head To Toe Pose In Yoga
- Utthita Janu Sirshasana – Standing Head Between Knees Pose In Yoga
- Eka Padottanasana – One Leg Raised To Head Pose In Yoga