Forward folds will always be used in a yoga class. Generally used in warm ups and sun salutations. We tend to hold a lot of tension in the shoulders and neck. Standing Forward Fold is best when we drop the head and fully relax the shoulder blades.
The benefits of this pose:
- relieves stiffness in the spine, neck and back
- stretches hamstrings, hips and calves
- improves balance, posture and co-ordination
- stimulate internal organs such as kidney, liver and spleen
- improves digestion
- reduces fatigue, tiredness and anxiety
This pose is most commonly used in sun salutations which involves a flow of stretches for the entire body. A lot of people think the goal is to touch their toes and that’s a good goal to have however it is not the key to success. Yoga is a process. As long as you are feeling the stretch here you are successful and getting closer to your goal each day! As well as the physical benefits this pose also relaxes the nerves and rejuvenates the mind. Variations of this pose would be rag-doll pose where you grab the elbows with the hands and then allow the upper body to become heavier. Try swaying side to side to achieve more of a stretch for the back and legs.
Alternatives & Tips:
- Bend your knees, maybe rest torso on thighs if this feels right for you
- Drop the head
- Relax shoulders, elbows and wrists
- Place hands by the side of the toes
- bring belly in to lift stomach muscles
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