Last week, we learned about Tadasana, or standing mountain pose. This week, we'll move on to Uttanasana, or standing forward bend. Uttanasana (pronounced ew-tawn-ah-sah-nah) is often the pose we practice following Tadasana in our sun salutation sequence.
Stand tall in Tadasana and bring hands to hips. On the inhale, lengthen upward through the spine, keeping the shoulders relaxed down. On the exhale, place the hands on the hips and start to fold forward over the thighs. Use the hands on the hips to gently coax them forward and imagine the pelvis is a bowl spilling forward. Keep the spine straight and back flat as you lengthen down. Release the arms down toward the floor.
Optional: Bend the knees deeply when the hamstrings feel tight. Let the upper body drape over the lower body, resting the chest on bent legs.
If your hamstrings allow straight legs while maintaining a flat back, let the upper body and arms hang down.
Release tension in the head and neck letting it dangle down toward the floor and gaze at the legs. Breathe deeply for a few breaths, imagining tension rolling off the body. Use an inhale to rise back up to standing.
Kambria Kennedy-Dominguez, Counselor and yoga teacher specializing in mental health, substance abuse and wellness.