3. Standing Forward Bend – Ardha Uttanasana
Whilst the pose helps to build strength and flexibility in the legs and back, it can also help increase blood flow to your brain and soothe your sympathetic nervous system, relieving anxiety and clearing foggy thoughts. Hold this pose for 10–15 seconds – for those with more experience, hold for up to a minute.
- Helps to build strength and tone the liver, spleen and kidneys
- Soothes the mind – helps the brain recover from mental and physical exhaustion
- Increases leg flexibility and lengthens the muscles of the legs and back
Here’s how to do it
- Place your hands on the wall at hip height and walk back until your heels are in a straight vertical line with your sitting bones (the bones in your pelvis you would sit on). Bring your feet hip width apart.
- Straighten your legs distributing your weight evenly on both feet, right and left and press evenly into the soles of the feet.
- Straighten your arms and keep your head straight between your shoulders. Distribute your weight evenly into the palms of your hands and lengthen your fingers. Feel the stretch through the back of your legs and spine. You should feel a constant action.
- To come out of the pose take a breath in and slowly bend your arms and walk in towards the wall. Repeat the pose 2-3 times.
- See photos below for an alternative variation with a chair.
- For more seasoned practitioners, you can bring your hands to yoga blocks if you have them or directly to the floor.
- Try the next pose – Mountain Pose – Tadasana.
- People with tight hamstrings, place the heels further apart with the toes pointing in.
- For people with lower back problems, keep your hands on the wall or on the back of the chair.