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Top 7 Health Benefits of Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)

Paschimottanasana happens to be a Sanskrit word which is also referred to as the ‘Seated Forward Bend Pose’ in English. This classical Hatha Yoga pose showers a practitioner with loads of benefits and is one of the most effective poses for an entire body stretch.

Good for people suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes, Paschimottanasana should be practiced early in the morning for best results. It is important to make sure that the bowels are empty before practicing the pose and meals are taken well in advance.

People suffering from diarrhea, asthma and back injury should refrain from practicing this pose.

Now, let’s take a look at how to perform Paschimottanasana or the Seated Forward Bend pose.

  • Sit straight with the legs stretched out. Keep the toes flexed towards yourself.
  • Take a deep breath and raise your arms upward.
  • Now bend forward while exhaling and fold from the hip joints.
  • Stretch the arms out as much as you can.
  • Take a deep breath, slightly lift the head and elongate the spine.
  • Release your breath and try to bring the navel towards the knees.
  • Keep repeating the same a few times.
  • Then, keep the head on the legs and remain in the pose for a few breaths.
  • Take a deep breath and shift to the sitting position.
  • Release your breath and drop arms.

With an understanding of how to perform the Seated Forward Bend pose, let’s now discover the top 7 health benefits of Paschimottanasana.

  1. Encourages Introspection and Calms the Nervous System

The spinal cord is a crucial part of the nervous system housing a gazillion nerves perhaps. When you perform Paschimottanasana, the spinal cord is stretched and space is created between the vertebras which increase blood circulation to all the nerves. This, in turn, soothes the nervous system. With daily practice of the pose, yogis are able to look inward and embark on a journey of self-discovery.

2. Fully Stretches the Backside

Yoga gurus from all over the world recommend Paschimottanasana to those suffering from back pain, stiffness, etc. among other back-stretching asanas. The reason being, the Seated Forward Ben pose stretches the entire back, from the head to the heels.

Regular practice of the pose results in increased flexibility and strength of the spine. The asana is also effective in releasing tension from the lower back, upper back and neck.

3. Stimulates and Tones the Internal Organs

Like a majority of the forward fold poses, Paschimottanasana increases blood circulation to all the major abdominal organs such as the kidneys, intestines, liver and pancreas. This boosts metabolism as well as improves digestion ability.

4. Cools the Body and Calms the Mind

 One of the major health benefits of forward bend pose is that it cools the body and calms the mind. The pose helps to transport fresh blood to the head helping the mind to relax and reduces insomnia, depression and worry.

The harmonizing of the pranic energies in the body leads to less stress and depression which keeps the mind rejuvenated and refreshed. Paschimottanasana is capable of delivering a well-rounded yoga practice and blesses the entire being with good health and positive energy.

5. Enhances Blood Flow to the Pelvic Region

Daily practice of Paschimottanasana can alleviate symptoms of Menopause. The asana increases blood circulation to the pelvic region thereby nourishing the organs in the lower part of the body.

The pose can also help people suffering from lack of sexual desire, impotence and infertility. It is also recommended to women after giving birth since the pose encourages healing.

6. Promotes Fat Burn in the Belly Region

Among the highly talked about health benefits of Paschimottanasana, reduction of belly fat probably deserves a special mention. People with belly fat find it extremely challenging to reduce those excess kilos from the abdominal region. There are instances where people have put in hours every day in the gym to get rid of that stubborn fat but to no success.

Paschimottanasana can easily burn the excess fat stored in the abdominal region through the stretches and pressures associated with the pose and help in attaining a flat belly. Strict adherence however is necessary to witness the best results.

7. Relieves Pain and Tightness from the Hamstrings

Tightness and pain in the hamstrings usually result from bad posture while seating. And if the same posture is maintained over a long period of time, it can increase the stiffness and pain which makes it hard for the person to concentrate on work or do his chores easily.

With Paschimottanasana, a yoga practitioner stretches the entire hamstring and helps with the smooth flow of blood in the region. The muscles are relaxed and they perform to their optimal level.

Paschimottanasana is a popular pose among yogis all over the world. Try and include it in your daily yoga practice and reap the results for a healthy body, mind and spirit.

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