asana tips and trivia: paschimottanasana
paschima = west/back of the body, uttana = intense stretch
Good old Paschimottanasana is a classic forward fold that you´ll find in many different styles of yoga. With legs stretched, you´ll feel it in more in your hamstrings – with legs bent, the stretch moves more into the back. As in all postures, experimenting according to your own needs and aims is a good idea. Sit on something if you want to elevate your pelvis, flex the feet, lengthen your spine and reach forward to grab your feet, using a strap if needed.
If you can´t close the gap between your lower belly and your upper thighs, don´t worry about bringing your head down, instead aim with the crown of your head forward, letting the neck be an extension of the spine. Paschimottanasana is one of these postures where you will see immense development if you do it on a regular basis, especially if you´re tight in the back of the body. Inhale to lengthen the spine, and exhale to take yourself forward.