I’ve just added some yoga stick figures below in forward bending poses. Forward folds are amongst my favorite of all poses. Besides the amazing stretch in the spine and backs of the legs, they are also very relaxing. Forward bending poses make me feel like I’ve come home.
If you have tight hamstrings you may find forward bending somewhat frustrating. This is an opportunity to work on patience and ahimsa – showing kindness and compassion towards yourself. Fold only as far as is comfortable. I really like the saying “go to your intelligent edge”. And remember that edge may not be the same everyday!
Note: If you have any back issues, move slowly and gently into forward folds. It may help to keep a bend in your knees.
Benefits of Forward Bending
- Stretches the upper back, shoulders and neck
- Stretches the pelvis and legs (especially hamstrings)
- Stretches and strengthen the entire spine
- Massages abdominal organs and intestines; improves digestion
- Regulates blood flow to the brain
- Activates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps to destress
Feel free to use these stick figures to guide your personal practice or create class sequences. I’ll continue to add more as I draw them so you may want to bookmark this page or subscribe to my rss feed.