You are a beginner in yoga, you want to tighten your abdominal belt or you are simply looking for new yoga postures to complete your list? Then it is very likely that the Prasarita Padottanasana is made for you.
In the same style as the parsvottanasana that we have recently introduced, the spread foot posture has many benefits that we will present in this article, in addition to an effective guide and our best advice.
What is Prasarita Padottanasana?
This posture is part of the simple yoga postures, that is, you will know how to perform it even as a beginner yogi. You just have to start with the mountain pose, work on your shoulder blades, bending your knees and engaging your thighs.
It is also part of the postures that can help you burn fat on the absomen. If you want more details, check out our article on the relationship between weight loss and yoga which can be found directly on our blog. It also serves as a warm-up before the practice of more demanding exercises, just like at the end of the session for an optimal stretch.
Benefits of Spread Foot Posture
If you feel slightly depressed, tired or have headaches, try this pose. While centralizing your energy and improving its circulation, Prasarita Padottanasana irrigates your brain.
It is also a great stretching exercise, especially for the legs. Your calves, the back of your thighs and even the area of your adductors will be soothed. Some areas are reinforced, like that of your spine and your hamstrings.
Finally, internal organs such as the kidneys and liver will be stimulated. All these components make this pose one of the most recommended for warm-up, or even at the end of the session.
Performing the prasarita step by step
11 simple steps are required to complete the pose:
- Start by putting yourself in a mountain position (Tadasana). Inhale and spread your feet about one metre apart.
- Put your hands on your waist with your feet parallel. Try to stretch your legs to the maximum, lifting your ankles without taking them off the ground.
- Take a deep breath and open the chest upwards. You need to make the front of your chest longer than your back.
- Exhale and continue this movement. Gently lean forward until your bust is parallel to the ground.
- Try to touch the ground, and look up.
- Try pushing your upper thighs backwards to lengthen your torso even further. Take several deep, slow breaths.
- Bend your elbows and bend even more, accentuating the movement from the hips.
- Try to put the top of your head down in front of you. However, if you can’t put your head on the ground, you can just let it hang down. The important thing is to continue to stretch your torso as much as possible, lengthening it.
- Continue to press the palm of your hands against the ground, your fingers should always point forward. More experienced students can bend their torso completely but beginners should not push their limits too far and should take the time to achieve such a level of flexibility.
- Try to move your shoulders back, away from the ears and hold this position for at least 30 seconds. If you wish, you can do this stretch longer, and hold it for at least a minute.
- Take a deep breath and go back to the initial posture, the mountain pose.
Some variations for this posture
Of course, it’s not necessary to follow this methodology infinitely. Once you have sufficiently integrated the posture, it is important that you appropriate it. Try, indulge, and follow your desires. There are thousands of ways to execute it, each possessing its own.
As long as you don’t hurt yourself and the end result is the same, let your imagination run wild. For example, you can place your hands behind your back instead of laying them on the ground, and you can even put them in Anjali Mudra’s position if you are able to.
Our tips for beginners
For those who cannot put their head on the floor, place a support (a yoga brick for example) in front of you to put your head on the floor. This helps you to keep your balance, and thus maximize the effects of stretching.
So here we are at the end of this article on Prasarita Padottanasana. After briefly explaining what it was, we talked about the benefits and how to execute it. We ended up with possible variations of postures and our tips for beginners.
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