Relaxation in Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana also known as SEATED FORWARD BEND, is a seated Asana that has many benefits, the main and most obvious one is to provide a complete stretch of the entire back of the body from the back of the head through the heels and increases blood circulation. More of it is:

  • It acts as a stress reliever.
  • Reduces fatty deposits in the abdomen.
  • Remove anxiety, anger and irritability.
  • Calms the mind.
  • Stretches the spine and brings flexibility.
  • Good for constipation and digestive disorder.
  • Useful for increasing height.

 PASCHIM means Back and UTTANA means Stretching.

What is has taught is that this pose has given me a challenge and has almost given up; admittedly one of the most demanding Asana. In my beginning stage of practicing my hands will only reach just below my knees and I was unable to bend forward, my back is rounded and my back legs will be in deep pain. Due to stiffness I want to surrender, in group classes where other students are able bend deeply I feel so disappointed and will always have a feeling that there’s no way that I will be able to go down. As I realized that you have to work on it with patience and discipline; you must find a balance between your efforts and then, surrender.

With practice I have overcome it. With training, one day I lifted my arms up, looked up, tucked my belly in and folded forward; and just like that my head made contact with my knees. There was no feeling of pain that usually holds me from deepening the pose but I find it relaxing and soothing now especially when someone pressing my lower back =).

It has taught me more than I realize.


-Berna Honrejas-

01 November 2016