Prasarita Padottanasana 

Wide Legged Forward Fold

Level 1 Pose
Prasarita Padottanasana is a combination of strength and surrender in the body and mind.  
Traditionally a resting pose, however it takes a while for one to feel the restorative effects of the pose.
  • This pose allows the the head to rest and blood to flow to the head - This calms the brain and provides relief from headaches, fatigue and mild depression.
  • Increases ankle flexibility.
  • Calves, knees and thighs get stretched along with the lower back.
  • Relaxes the shoulders as it releases tension, stress and stiffness from them.
  • Reduces the fat from around the waist.
  • When practised regularly over time this posde gives you a proper idea as the how to place the crown of the head on the floor.
Contraindications / Cautions
  • Lower Back Problems                                                                                                                    
  • Sinus Congestion
In these cases avoid the full forward Bend
  1. Pay attention to the feet as they are the foundation of the pose.  Root down through the four corners of the feet. Broaden the bottoms of your feet and lengthen the space between the inner heels and the toes. Try and not curl in the toes 
  2. Draw the inner ankle, inner knee and the inner thighs upwards.  There is a tendency to push the knees and legs backward, try to avoid this as it can lead to hyper extension of the knee joint, instead consciously pull upwards.
  3. To ensure the stability of the legs, attempt to rotate the thighs in and back to create space in the sacrum and the lower back.  To maintain stability in the hips attempt to rotate the shins outward.
  4. Draw the shouders away from the ears, to create the length in the neck.
  5. Maintain the length and space of spine.
Tips and Modifications
  • It can be tricky to judge how far apart your feet should be.  If your hamstrings are flexibile your feet can be closer together.  If your hamstrings are tight, then keep the legs spread wide apart. (Your feet should not be so far apart that you cannot  reach both of your ankles with your hands).
  • The aim is to extend the spine so keep adjusting the distance each time you practice the posture and eventually you will find the distance that is effective for your body.
  • If you can't easily bring your hands to the floor or if you need extra support in the lower back try raising your hands of the floor and resting them on the end of a block.
If you are advancing your practice and you can easily place your head on the floor you can try coming up into a tripod headstand. (Only do this can already do headstand and are familiar with inversions)

Emma Costelllo

Tel: 087-212-4644