Saturday, 24 September 2011

Paschimotanasana - The Posterior Stretch

"Paschim" stands for 'posterior' or 'back' and "Uttan" refers to 'stretched'. In this pose the entire back region of the body gets stretched.


  1. Sit in Sukhasana with your legs stretched out together in front.
  2. Straighten your neck, head and spine.
  3. Make sure legs are not bent at the knees.
  4. Place your palms on the corresponding knees.
  5. Move your trunk and head forward and then gradually bend them down.
  6. Simultaneously, slide your palms along the shin of your legs to reach the toes. Grasp the big toes of the respective feet with the thumb, index and middle finger.
  7. Your head should be placed in between the two arms.
  8. Pull your toes and bend your head and trunk further downward arching the spine.
  9. Inhale deeply and then exhale slowly.
  10. Bend your arms and slide your elbows down on either side to rest on the ground. Pull in your stomach.
  11. Taking support of the elbows, bend your head further downward to touch the forehead on the knees.
  12. Complete exhalation.
  13. Hold your breath and remain in this posture for as long as you can.
  14. Release the toes and return to the sitting position.
  15. Straighten your spine and return to normal breathing.


  • Never practice the pose on a full tummy.
  • Get into the pose and return to the starting posture in a smooth flow without any jerks.
  • Pregnant women should not perform Paschimotanasana.
  • Hernia and slipped disc patients should avoid this yoga pose.
  • While performing this yoga pose keep your body relaxed.


  • This yoga pose helps relax the entire body with the stretching of the muscles of neck, chest, shoulders, the spinal column, abdomen, hips, waist, legs and feet.
  • It helps overcome menstrual disorders.
  • The pose is helpful in slimming down a flabby waist.
  • Spinal column gets supple and flexible.
  • It activates your pancreas; hence diabetic patients should perform this asana.
  • With the pressing of the abdomen the inner organs attain strength.
  • Paschimotanasana relieves rheumatism especially in the muscular portion of the back.
  • Deformities of the spine are treated and thus the pose helps in correcting your posture.
  • Regular practice of Paschimotanasana can help get rid of fat around abdomen, hips, backside and thighs.
  • A protruding belly can be treated with this yoga pose.
  • Paschimotanasana cures seminal weakness and impotency.
  • Paschimotanasana improves the peristaltic action of the bowels curing constipation and other digestive disorders.
  • Lung capacity is expanded due to stretching of the rib cage.
  • Problems related to intestines and piles can be checked with the posture.
  • Elasticity of arms, elbows, shoulders, legs, knees, ankles and hip joints improves.


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