Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend

Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend


Paschimottanasana is derived from the combination of the Sanskrit words Paschima(west or back or back of body), uttana(intense stretch or straight or extended), and asana (posture or pose). It is called as Seated Forward Bend or Back Stretching Pose in English.

Preparatory Poses for Paschimottanasana are Uttanasana, Janu Sirsasana and Balasana; and the follow-up Pose is Ardha Matsyendrasana.

It is one of the important Hatha yoga. It helps to stretch the entire back side of the body from back to heels.

Steps Involved:

  1. Start with sit on yoga mat with legs stretched out in front.
  2. Slowly bend forward and try to hold thumbs of both legs with the help of hands finger.
  3. Exhale; further bend in forward direction and try to place elbow on sides of legs on floor.
  4. Make sure that your both legs are straight.
  5. Clutch your foot with your hands.
  6. Try to touch your knees by your forehead. Please do not stretch too much.
  7. Hold in this position for few seconds.
  8. Hold breath as long as possible.
  9. Exit the pose by inhale and get back to the normal sitting position.


  • Stretches the spine, lower back, hamstrings, hips and.
  • Reduces the obesity, especially abdomen fat.
  • Regulates the menstrual cycle.
  • The nadi’s are purified.
  • Regulates the working of uterus, liver, ovaries and kidneys.
  • Helps to activate the kundalini shakti.
  • Helps to reduce the Bronchitis and Colitis.
  • Improves the flexibility of the hips, thigh and lumbar region.
  • Calms the emotions.
  • Helps to stretch and lengthen the entire spine.
  • Soothing for the irritability, angerand removing anxiety.
  • Massages and tones the abdominal and pelvic organs.
  • Encourages the introversion.
  • Tones the shoulders and arms.
  • Stretches and strengthens the calf and thigh muscles.
  • Helps activate the spinal nerves.
  • Removes disorders of the uro-genital system.
  • Helps to remove many ailments and increases the appetite.
  • Energise the body.
  • Strengthening your spine & back.
  • This pose helps in increasing height.
  • Helps to improve alignment of the vertebral column.

Dos, Don’ts and Tips:

People with the following problem please avoid practising this pose, or practise under the expert’s supervisions and doctor’s advice.

  • Back Injury
  • Diarrhea
  • Asthma
  • Recent surgery

Practise this yoga daily, will yield the better results.

It’s good to do this pose in the morning with empty stomach.

Do not bend the knees

Do not pull on the feet

Do keep trying to touch the knees by your forehead. But do not rush. Stretch gently. Please, keep in mind that while bending forward it is important to move forward towards the toes, rather than down towards the knees.