Standing Forward Bend pose in Yoga is called Pada-Hastasana in Sanskrit in Hatha Yoga. In Sanskrit language ‘pada’ means ‘foot’ and ‘hasta’ means ‘hands’. Some of the benefits are same as paschimottanasana or seating forward bending pose.
Standing poses in Yoga begin with this pose. By practicing the Standing Forward Bend pose your “youthful vigor’ continues throughout your life. No wonder they say: “You will be as youthful as your spine.”
In case you sit on a chair for long hours and you can’t change your posture due to work commitments – try the Standing Forward Bend Pose or Padahastasana. It is the best solution for stiff legs by using the pull of gravity. Because, this asana lengthens the ligaments and muscles of the posterior (back) side of your body. It helps you right from your heels to the middle of the back.
This Yoga Pose/asana is like a preparation for the next pose called the – Triangle Pose in Yoga.
How to do the Standing Forward Bend Pose in Yoga:
Stand straight with your feet together.
As you inhale raise your arms over your head, while the arms are straight and next to your ears. Arms should be pinting upwards towards the roof or sky.
Exhale while you bend forward from the hips so that you make a 90 degree angle with your upper body and arms.
Continue to breathe out as you bend further down bringing your forehead and nose as close to your knees as possible. Take care of your knees as they should be straight.
Hold your big toes in the ‘Classical Foothold’ or just in case you cannot stretch so far – hold your ankle or your calves to your knees.
(Classical Foothold: “Wrap the index finger around the big toe and place the thumb underneath. Curl the remaining three fingers against the inner palm.”)
While doing so – your shoulders should be relaxed. As you take each breath while holding yourself in this position stretch yourself further with each breath.
Beginners: To hold the position for only 5 seconds.
Advanced practitioners: Can extend the time until they are comfortable in holding the pose for 1 minute.
For a better balance your weight is resting on the balls of your feet. Feel the hips receiving a nice stretch while your knees are straight.
How to come out of the Standing Bend Pose:
As you inhale raise yourself up slowly until you are in a standing pose.
Hand Variation of Pada-Hastasana:
When you are able to hold the Standing Forward bend or Padahastasana position for a few minutes comfortably as you gain flexibility you can try the variations. The variations are designed to give the stretch in a different manner altogether.
Reach behind your legs and catch the opposite elbows with the opposite hands.
Lift the front feet off the floor an slide your hands under them pointing inside and then lower your feet.
1. Knees start bending while practicing the Standing Forward Bend Pose or Padahastasana.
2. Upper back is too curved.
3. Feet are placed apart or pointing outwards.
Precautions while Practicing Standing Forward Bend Pose:
Keep your knees straight – making sure they are neither be bent forward not arched backwards. The idea is to keep the knees straight.