UTTANASANA (FORWARD FOLD)
Utta = Intense; Asana = posture
Feet are hip width apart and pressed firmly into the mat. Torso is folded forward over the knees. Hands rest on the floor. Knees are bent as needed to bring torso in towards the thighs. Gravity provides traction for the spine. In RAGDOLL variation, arms are interlaced with hands interlaced within the crooks of the elbows. In GORILLA variation, palms of the hands make contact with the soles of the feet as the hands slide under the feet. Toes come into contact with the wrists. On an inhale, torso lifts and thighs actively contract. On an exhale the torso folds deeper. Sit bones lift and spread as the hamstrings are consciously relaxed. Elbows bend out slightly to the sides. The weight of the head is surrendered as the forehead, eyes and jaw soften.
Benefits of the posture:
- facilitates forward flexion of the hips and spine
- massages and regenerates the kidneys and adrenal glands
- increases circulation to the brain and sense organs