Standing Forward Bend / Pada-Hastasana

Pada-Hastasana is the first of the standing postures. It gives many of the same benefits as Paschimottanasana and helps to quickly lengthen the muscles and ligaments of the entire spine. It is said that “You are as young as your spine”. By practicing this posture regularly you can maintain youth and vigor throughout your entire life.


  • Helps release compression in the spine
  • Lengthens and stretches entire back side of the body
  • As a slight inversion, increases blood flow to the heart and head
  • Reduces muscular and nervous tension in the back and neck


1. Stand at the top of the mat, feet together, arms relaxed.

2. Inhale, stretch the arms over the head, next to the ears.

3. Exhale, bend forward with a flat back and bring the forehead as close to the knees as possible. Hold onto the big toes for the classical posture, or hold behind the ankles, calves or thighs.

4. Hold up to one minute. Keep the knees straight, with each exhalation use the pull of gravity to go lower. Shift the weight towards the toes, lengthening the back of the legs.

5. Release the hands, gently bend the knees, inhale and slowly roll up to the standing position. * Bending your knees when coming out of this posture is important to help protect you from sudden blood pressure change that could cause dizziness.


  • Make this an active posture and hold wherever you are comfortable.
  • Keep the legs straight even if it means holding up higher on the legs
  • Relax the head, let it hang completely relaxed.
  • If you have trouble balancing you may separate the feet.
  • For advanced students you may place the hands under the feet, palms and the soles of the feet touching.

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