Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose)
1) Exhale fold forward at the hip joints
1. Keep spine long, straight
2) Navel is active and pulled in to support lower back
3) Bend knees if necessary
4) Place your palms outside each foot (ideally, fingertips inline with toes), otherwise place them wherever you can fold to without losing the integrity of your spine.
5) Shoulders are away from ears
6) Chest is broad – pushing down and in, neck is relaxed
Some Helpful hints:
· If reaching the floor with the palms is a challenge, using of blocks placed close to the feet will help in enjoying the pose.
· If practising a standing forward fold such as this one for an extended period of time to increase hamstring flexibility wrap a strap around the arches of your feet and fold forward keeping spine neutral aiming for axial extension, only go as far forward as straight legs will permit without jeopardising the integrity of your lengthened spine.
CAUTION ! Spine should always remain neutral, especially the lower back, excess kyphosis (rounded back) can cause a disc bulge.