Yoga Poses

Paschimottanasana – Back Stretching Pose


Paschimottanasana – Back Stretching Pose

Paschimottanasana (पश्चिमोत्तानासन – Paschimottanasana In Hindi) is among the excellent forward bend Yoga poses for lower back stretches, weight loss, and for diabetes. The practice of Paschimottasnasana stimulates the solar plexus. This classic forward bend is very good for the whole body, from the heels to the head. This asana is an excellent yoga asana for females and should be a part of the yogic routine of every female and more important for the girls that are about to marry.

Paschimottanasana Steps

Spread a Yoga Mat on the ground and sit on it with the legs stretched out.

  • Bring the feet close to each other and join the hands in namaskar at the center of the chest.
  • This is the starting position.
  • Relax the whole body.
  • Raise both the hands while breathing in above the head.

  • While breathing out bend forward from the hips, bringing the hand down close to toes.
  • Grasp the big toes with the fingers and the thumbs.
  • If it looks difficult, try to hold the heels, ankles or any part of the legs that can be reached comfortably.
  • All movements should be slow and without any jerk.
  • Relax the back and leg muscles, becoming aware of the muscles being stretched gently.
  • For further bending, utilizing the arm muscles, begin to bend the elbows and bring the trunk down towards the legs.
  • Try to touch the knees with the forehead.
  • Do not strain.

  • Remain in the final pose as long as is comfortable.
  • For returning to starting position, first, raise the trunk and the hands while breathing in.
  • Then return to starting position while breathing out.
  • This is one round.
  • Perform two to three rounds of this asana.
  • Lie in Savasana till the breath returns to normal.

Paschimottanasana Precautions

People suffering from a slipped disc, sciatica or a hernia should avoid doing this asana.

Paschimottanasana Benefits

  • This asana is among the powerful abdominal exercises as it massages and stimulates abdominal viscera such as kidneys, liver, pancreas.
  • The asana cures piles and diabetes (maintaining blood sugar levels).
  • It is a very good asana for stretching the posterior muscles of the body.
  • The hamstring muscles at the back of the knee are stretched and strengthened.
  • The spine becomes supple and thereby perennial youth is established by the practice of Paschimottanasana.
  • The asana increases the flexibility of the hip joints.
  • The asana removes the excess weight of the abdominal and pelvic area and hence a great weight loss exercise.
  • It is useful for reducing obesity and rectifying stomach ailments.
  • It is especially good for ladies with menstrual problems.
  • Most sexual problems can be resolved by the practice of Pachimottanasana, but it requires long-term and regular practice.

Paschimottanasana is also useful in minimizing visions. Sometimes visions keep coming and you find it impossible to get rid of them, whether the eyes are open or shut. This practice tranquilizes the brain and helps to stop the appearance of distracting visions. It is one of the best ways to lose weight.

The Paschimottanasana is a forward bending pose and should be preceded and followed by a backward bending asana such as – Ustrasana, Bhujangasana or Matsyasana etc.

About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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