Forward Bend, Standing Wide Leg
PRASĀRITA PĀDOTTĀNĀSANA (प्रसारित पादोत्तानासन)
(prah-SAAH-ree-tah paah-doh-tahn-AHH-sah-nah)

 


‘Prasārita’= spread out or expanded, ‘Pāda’= foot, ‘uttāna’= intense stretch, extended, straight, or stretched,
‘āsana’= posture


Alternate Names

Wide Stance Forward Bend Pose
Wide Legged Forward Fold Pose
Wide Leg Standing Straddle Pose
Standing Angle Pose (Dandayamana Konasana)
Standing Straddle Forward Bend
Intense Leg Stretch Pose
Feet Spread Intense Stretch Pose
Spread Leg Forward Fold Pose
Spread Leg Forward Bend Pose
Standing Intense Spread Leg Pose
Spread Leg Stretched Out Posture
Extended Foot Stretch Pose

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Pose Type: Forward-Bend / Stretch / Standing / Inversion

1. Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your legs hip distance apart, your back straight, your shoulders and arms down, and your palms facing forward.
2. Extend your legs to the side, with your feet and legs parallel to each other. Root down through your feet, placing your weight into your heels, to ground yourself. Make sure not to lock your knees.
3. Take a deep breath and lift your arms over your head. Lift your torso, and exhale, as you start tilting your hips to bend from your hips down toward the mat. Transfer some of your weight to the balls of your feet. Keep your back straight and engage your core and quadriceps for balance.
4. As you continue to bend forward, tilt your hips and press them up. Draw your abdomen to your spine and lengthen through the back. Place your hands on the mat in line with your feet, shoulder length apart. Bend your elbows toward the wall behind you and drop the crown of your head down toward the mat.
5. Continue to sink the crown of the head to the ground, lengthening your spine. Be sure not to put pressure on the crown of your head and keep your neck soft and aligned with your spine.
6. For alternate variations you can either: a) grab your big toes (good for students with shoulder Injuries), b) cross your arms under the top of your head and grab the opposite big toes, c) stretch your hands out behind the head to the floor, c) clasp your hands in Venus Lock behind your head, d) place your hands on your hips, e) place your hands in Venus Lock behind your back (either close to the back or rotate the shoulders so that the hands go over the back of the head toward the floor), f) place your hands behind your back in Prayer Mudra, g) place your hands behind your back in Cow Face Pose Arms, or g) extend your arms through your legs and place your hands under the buttock on the floor. In all variations, make sure to keep the should blades flat to the back. Note: Students can hold a strap between their hands for any variation where the hands are behind the back.
7. Hold for several breaths, breathing smoothly. (Hold for 20 seconds to increase strength and flexibility.)
8. When ready, slowly release and come back to Mountain Pose (Tadasana).

Common Adjustments
• Folding at the waist and lower back instead of the hips / Rounded back
• Neck and shoulders strained
• Too much pressure on the crown of the head
• Forcing the stretch / Unbalanced
• Locked knees
• Ankles rolling in or out
• Tailbone down

Modifications
• For students with tight hamstrings or groin, and/or their back is not strong enough for a full bend, either: a) place blocks under the hands, b) place a block or bolster under the head, c) have the student bend their knees, or d) have them practice Half Forward Bend, Standing (Ardha Uttanasana) with the option to place the hands on a wall, chair, or stool.
• Students who have difficulty reaching their hands or head to the ground, have a rounded back, have difficulty balancing, are pregnant, or have a week body structure, they can either: a) place blocks under the hands and/or head, b) widen their stance, or c) practice with their back or buttock against a wall.
• Students who have trouble bending to the floor, are in the late stages of pregnancy, or have high blood pressure can either: a) practice Half Forward Bend, Standing (Ardha Uttanasana), b) place a chair in front to support the head or hands, c) place their hands on a wall, or d) practice on a chair or Fitness Ball.
• Advanced students can slightly position their heels out farther than the toes for a deeper stretch.

Counter Poses
• Bow (Dhanurasana)
• Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
• Camel (Ustrasana)
• Cobra (Bhujangasana)

Anatomy
• Chest (Pectoralis Minor)• Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Abdomen (Core)• Upper (Cervical) and Lower (Lumber) Back and Spine
• Hips (Psoas Major and Iliopsoas)• Gluteus Maximus and Medius
• Quadriceps and Hamstrings• Calf muscles
• Knees• Ankles

Benefits
• Stretches and strengthens the shoulders, shoulder joints, chest, abdomen, lower back, spine, hips, groin, inner thighs, hamstrings, calf muscles, ankles, and feet which increases flexibility, balance, and stability.
• Opens the hamstrings, quadriceps, hips, and groin and reduces tension around the neck and shoulders.
• Massages digestive and pelvic organs which improves colon function and digestion, as well as soothes constipation, stomach pains, or abdominal ailments.
• Improves posture and spinal alignment, as well as soothes Upper and Middle back stiffness.
• Stimulates the nervous system, which calms the brain, reducing stress and anxiety, as well as relieves mild depression, insomnia, and fatigue. This helps to boost energy, as well as encourages confidence, self-control, and acceptance. Also helps with breath awareness and relaxation.
• Improves blood circulation and soothes headaches and/or migraines along with menstrual and menopausal discomfort. This also stimulates the kidneys, liver, and spleen, as well as is therapeutic for students with weak liver, kidneys, or sinusitis.

Contraindications
1. Students with high blood pressure should keep their head above the heart.
2. Students with severe head, neck, shoulder, back, hip, leg, knee, or ankle injuries should avoid this pose.
3. Students with migraines, arthritis in the shoulders, hips, and /or knees, have lower back problems, or have fibromyalgia should avoid this pose.
4. Pregnant students should avoid this pose unless they perform with props and/or a modification and have proper guidance.

Chakras
Chakra One:Root or Muladhara (root support) Chakra. This is the survival and gravity chakra. Its goals are stability, grounding, prosperity, right livelihood, and physical health. Its location is the base of the spine, coccygeal plexus, legs, feet, and large intestines.
Chakra Two:Sacral or Svadhisthana (sweetness) Chakra. This is the chakra for emotion, sexuality, and attraction of opposites. Its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation. Its location is the abdomen, genitals, lower back, and hips.
Chakra Three:Solar Plexus, Self-Power, or Manipura (lustrous gem) Chakra. This is the combustion, power, and energy chakra. Its goals are vitality, strength of will, and purpose. Its location is the solar plexus.
Chakra Four:Heart, Love, or Anahata (Unstuck) Chakra. This is the love and equilibrium chakra. Its goals are balance, compassion, and acceptance. Its location is the heart.
Chakra Five:Throat, Visuddha, Vissudha, Vishuddhi, or Vishuddha (purification) Chakra. This is the communications and sympathetic vibrations chakra. Its goals are clear communication, creativity, and resonance. Its location is the throat.
Chakra Seven:Crown or Sahasrara (Thousandfold) Chakra. This is the understanding and consciousness chakra. Its goals are wisdom, knowledge, and spiritual connection. Its location is the top of the head.



Additional information on this asana can be found in your textbooks

  • In the textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini, this posture can be found in Chapter 7 – Standing Postures as “Prasarita Padottanasana – Extended-Leg Forward Bend”.
    • Watch the Chapter 7 video “Prasarita Padottanasana” found in the Web Resources that come with your textbook  “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini. This video gives you an additional example of how to practice this asana.
  • In the textbook “YOGA Anatomy – Third Edition” by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews, this posture can be found in Chapter 8 – STANDING POSES as “PRASARITA PADOTTANASANA – Wide-Stance Forward Bend”.

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