Inverting our usual posture andpressing the torso towards the joints is beneficial to improve the functioningof internal organs and help digestion. At the same time, doing so affects thenervous system, relaxing and soothing it. Such yoga poses have also proved tobe beneficial against anxiety, stress, and depression.
Prasarita Padottasana (pra-sA-ri-tuh pA-dO-thAnA-suh-nuh) is an excellent example for inverted asanas. The inversion of the torso and contact of the head’s crown to the earth helps relieving back shoulders and neck on a physical level, the mind on the emotional and physical one. Hence, it is a remedy for headaches, but also to pause for a while the rumination and overthinking that do not let us enjoy our present.
Stepsto Perform Prasarita Padottanasana
- Startwith your legs wide apart, feet parallel and toes turned slightly in to protectyour knees.
- Asyou inhale, expand your heart and lungs arching your back gently and either 1)bring your hands to your hips or 2) interlace your fingers behind you withpalms facing each other.
- Keepingyour legs strong begin to fold forward at the hips. If your hands are at yourhip allow them to come to the floor in front of you shoulder width apartbetween your feet – keep the hands pulled in towards each other. If your handsare interlaced, stretch the arms away from your back and overhead.
- Adjustyour body so that you feel your hips over your ankles and your weight intendsslightly forward in to your toes.
- Bewary of your back. At the noticing of any discomfort, bend your knees slightlyand go only as far as you can without pressuring yourself.
- Youcan also place your palms against a wall or use a chair for your forearms.
- Ifyour head touches the ground, it can bear some of the weight to help you regainbalance to an extent.
- Youcan also use a block, folded blanket or bolster to rest your head.
- Enjoyfive full breaths or more.
- Tocome out of the pose, press into your feet, engaging your leg muscles andinhale as you twist your torso upright.
- Exhalecompletely and relax yourself.
HealthBenefits of Prasarita Padottanasana
- Thispose stretches the backs of the legs – Hamstrings, calves, glutes and lowerback
- Itimproves hip joint flexibility
- Itstrengthens the feet
- Itacts as a semi inversion
- Itcreates length in the spine
- Itimproves posture
- Itprovides rest to the heart
- Ithelps to turn inward
- It’sa good pose for stress, anxiety, and depression
- Itchallenges both strength and flexibility
- Itssymmetrical shape keeps your pelvis, sacroiliac joint and spine neutral andquiet, while the active rooting of your feet and legs allows your upper body tobe soft and receptive.
- Itgives the heart a rest while encouraging movement of stagnant blood