SEATED FORWARD FOLD
danda = staff (refers to the spine, the central “staff” or support of the body)
Paying attention to detail brings precision in the postures. Precision leads to perfection and truth. Truth is divinity. Being observant trains the inner eye to see subtle movements within the body. As practice becomes more accurate, the body responds with pointers to further refinements. In this way practice is filled with the light of understanding and clarity in Yoga is attained.
- Sit on the floor with the legs stretched out in front and the trunk upright. If the lower back sags because the hamstrings are tight, sit on two folded blankets.
- Join the inner knees and inner ankles, placing the palms on the floor beside the hips, fingers pointing forward. Stay for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Extend the legs and heels forward, keeping them parallel and centered. Stretch the soles, the tops of the feet, and the toes up.
- Keep the feet parallel, move the inner edges of the feet away from the legs and draw the outer edges slightly back.
- Straighten the knees by pressing the kneecaps into the knee joints and stretching the backs of the knees. Press the thighs, knees, and shins down. Tuck the tops of the thighs in toward the trunk.
- Pressing the hands into the floor, extend the sides and the back of the body up. Stretch the sacrum and lumbar. Lift the rib cage; press the shoulder blades into the back. Rotate the upper arms upward and draw the biceps and triceps into the humerus.
- Do not let the head tilt. Keep it straight and look ahead. Keep both sides of the body parallel. Center the face and trunk.
- Fold from the hip creases with a flat back. Hold on to the sides of the feet, big toes, or around the ankles or feet. Do not pull back on the small toes.
- Stay for 10 breaths
Modifications & Props
If you don’t have much flexibility in your hamstrings, you can sit up on two folded blankets (sit on the folded vs.the raw edge side). You can also use a block under your feet to keep the bottoms of the feet flat. Using a strap wrapped around the balls of your feet can help you to promote more forward movement.
Strengthens the back muscles, stretches the shoulders and chest, improves posture
Any wrist or lower back injury