The standing forward fold position also know as uttanasana is one of the foundational postures of yoga. The pose name uttanasana comes from the Sanskrit root "ut", which translates as powerful or intense, and "tan" which means to stretch or lengthen. While we often refer to the pose by it's shape, the forward fold, its actual meaning is "intense pose". For anyone with tighter hamstrings, they can certainly feel the sensations in the back of the thighs lives up to the name. Although many people feel the stretch strongly in the back of the thigh, this position when practiced with proper alignment and attention stretches the entire back body line from the soles of the feet, up through the calves, the infamous hamstrings, the glutes, muscles of the back, and lengthens the neck.
The Sanskrit word uttanasana comprises ut, which means “intense,” “powerful,” or “deliberate,” and the verb tan, meaning to “stretch,” “extend,” or “lengthen.” Uttanasana is a stretch of the entire back body
You do not have to touch the floor to do the pose! Start where ever you are and do a little bit at a time to build up your flexibility. While it is OK to put some effort into the position and feel some stretch sensations, avoid overdoing it. It is better to do a little bit at a time over a long period of time with consistency so that we may increase mobility gains while avoiding injury.
Note: This pose is not recommended for people with low back problems without the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher.
How to do Uttanasana
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