The series of Prasarita Padottanasana comes in four variations, A, B, C, and D and all four variations are designed to stretch and strengthen the body. Known for its revitalizing effect, this forward Bend is also a version of semi-inverted pose and helps to make the life of the practitioner simpler and smoother. The Wide-Legged Forward Bend gets its name from Sanskrit to English translation, where ‘Prasarita’ means Wide or Stretched Out, ‘Pada’ means foot, ‘Ut’ means intense, ‘Tan’ means stretch and ‘Asana’ means Pose. A centerfold in the league of Ashtanga Yoga Primary series, Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose is a part of the standing forward pose and targets a practitioner’s entire body. Those practitioners who practice intense backbends can use Prasarita Padottanasana to counterbalance the backbends and bring a sense of harmony. We have put together a list of benefits offered by Prasarita Padottanasana which will help you to understand why it is important and must be added to any sequence on a regular basis.
Stretching the Lower body
Placement of our feet is responsible for this obvious benefit of performing the pose. When the practitioner places both the feet far away from each other, the hamstrings are stretched and the body has to work extra to create balance in the body. The stretching motion helps in strengthening the lower body as well as opening the hip flexors, which gets stiff from lack of movement and prolonged sitting hours. Thighs, groin, hip, back, hamstrings, all the areas receive the benefits of stretching motion of the pose.
Refreshing the mind
The semi-inverted nature of the pose helps the heart to get into a resting position. On a daily basis, the heart has to pump extra blood in order to supply oxygen and energy to our brain. Inverted poses bring the head underneath the heart and this makes it easier for the heart to get a rest from the challenges of the gravitational pull and the brain receives extra blood. The brain cells are activated. Stress and anxiety are reduced almost immediately and brain fog is diminished.
Lower Backache reliever
Patients suffering from intense lower backache, sciatica, and slipped disc are often suggested to conduct all the four variations of Prasarita Padottanasana in the recovery phase. The stretching and elongating motion of the hamstrings and hip flexors also stretches the spine and helps in creating greater space for the muscles of the back. Also, the flow of blood increases in the back which helps in removing the blockages.
Helping the digestion
As we go into the asana, the forward bending of the torso and touching the head to the mat helps in massaging the organs of the digestive system. Liver, Spleen, Kidneys, Intestines, receive a gentle massage in the body and make it easier for the practitioner to remove constipation, enhance the ingestion of nutrients in the body, and detoxify us of all the toxins.
Creating better posture
When the spinal column is stretched and strengthened, our posture gets corrected automatically. If a practitioner practices this pose on a regular basis, he or she can experience an elongated spine, erect body, squared shoulders, and a toned abdomen. All of this together creates long, lean lines, gives an hourglass figure, and enhances the posture.
Activating the Energy Center
Acting as a balm for tense nerves, it is said that the Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose leads the practitioner to experience Sattva, a state of balance and harmony. In variation A, the head should be placed on the mat which automatically activates the Crown Chakra. This helps in grounding all the negativity and unwanted thoughts which helps in reaching a place of tranquility. The legs are steady and rooted in the ground while the mood is uplifted.
It helps in reducing headache and uplifting insomnia. Many also claim that by practicing this pose regularly, blood sugar can be controlled.
By adding all of the aforementioned poses together, it can be rightly said that the asana targets almost all everyday ailments. The practitioners can add this pose in the middle of their practice or if they have lesser time on hand, they can simply perform this pose right in the morning (before eating anything).
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