How to practice:

  • Sit in Dandasana with legs stretched out, thighs, knees, ankles and feet together
  • Relaxed mind, back and neck erect, rest on your buttock bones
  • Fold your right knee and place right foot on left thigh
  • Ensure right knee is pressed firmly on the floor
  • Take your right hand back and grasp right big toe with your fingers (beginners can use prop to get hold of the foot)
  • Inhale and stretch left hand up in line with left ear
  • Stretch spine up from tailbone; exhale and bend down from lower back
  • Hold left toe with your left hand (beginners may hold shin or ankle)
  • Continue to look down
  • Keep the left knee straight and press back of knee towards the floor
  • Hold the pose for 30-60 secs
  • Gently come out of pose, release the pressure if any
  • Repeat with other leg
  • 3-4 cycles of asana are ideal

Benefits:

  • Corrects curvature of spine and rounded shoulders
  • Eases stiffness and stretches hamstrings shoulders, hips, elbow and wrist and finger joints
  • Improves concentration and calms mind
  • Tones and strengthens the chest muscles
  • Helps to remove excess weight around abdomen
  • Activates the abdominal organs
  • Improves digestion and stimulates metabolism
  • Therapeutic for constipation, sciatica, asthma, fatigue and lower back pain
  • Opens and relaxes middle and upper back muscles
  • Relaxes heart
  • Makes spine flexible and strong

Caution: Proceed gently and listen to your body; if at any time you feel discomfort come out of posture and resume after you feel comfortable. This posture should not be performed by people suffering from hypertension, diarrhoea, migraine and insomnia.

Blog_Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana_Oct_1_2015