Paschimottanasana

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Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana (Sanskrit: पश्चिमोत्तानासन; IAST: paścimottānāsana) Seated Forward Bend,[1] or Intense Dorsal Stretch[2] is an asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.

Etymology and origins[edit]

Paschimottanasana illustrated in an 1830 manuscript of the Jogapradipika

The name comes from the Sanskrit words paschima (पश्चिम, paścima) meaning "west" or "the back of the body";[3] uttana (उत्तान, uttāna) meaning "intense stretch" or "straight" or "extended";[4] and asana (आसन, āsana) meaning "posture" or "seat".[5]

The pose is described in the 15th-century Hatha Yoga Pradipika, chapter 1, verses 30-31.

Description[edit]

This asana is practiced in four stages:

  1. The yogi stretches their legs straight and swings the upper part of their body back and forth. With each swing, the yogi tries to reach further with their hands, touching their knees, calves, ankles, and finally their toes.
  2. The yogi bends forward to touch their knees with their hands.
  3. The yogi reaches further to touch their toes with their hands.
  4. The yogi tries to place their elbows at the side of their knees, and touch their knees with either their nose or their forehead.

People who have difficulty bending their backs should exercise caution when performing this asana.[6]

Variations[edit]

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana is a balancing form of the pose, legs and hands pointing upwards.[7]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Yoga Journal - Seated Forward Bend". Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  2. ^ "Asanas - Forward Bending Poses". About Yoga. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  3. ^ Lark, Liz (15 March 2008). 1,001 Pearls of Yoga Wisdom: Take Your Practice Beyond the Mat. Chronicle Books. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-8118-6358-2. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Paschimottanasana". Ashtanga Yoga. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  5. ^ Sinha, S. C. (1 June 1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
  6. ^ Kapadia, Praveen (2002). Yoga Simplified (1st ed.). Hyderabad, India: Gandhi Gyan Mandir Yoga Kendra. pp. 124–125.
  7. ^ "Urdhva-Mukha Paschimottanasana". Ashtanga Yoga. Retrieved 8 February 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]