Mermaid Yoga: Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) with Rag Doll variation
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Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) with Rag Doll variation
How to get into the pose:
From last weeks pose, downward facing dog, exhale as you walk your hands back towards your feet to come into a forward bend. Since you came from downward facing dog your feet should be at hip width (I like to do my first forward fold with feet at hip width distance, otherwise you can have feet together, big toes touching).
Make sure your fold is coming from your hip joints and not from your low back or waist. A good way to check is if your belly is quite far from your legs, it means you are rounding in your back rather than folding from the hips. If this is the case, bring a slight bend into your knees and take your sit bones up to the sky. You will then feel your belly closer to your thighs.
If you can maintain this lifting of the sit bones and hinging at the hips then you can start to straighten the legs, if not just keep a gentle (or generous for the stiff) bend in your knees.
Relax your head, letting your neck lengthen and shoulders relax. You can either keep your arms long and let them hang towards the ground or come into rag doll, which is grabbing opposite elbow and letting the arms be heavy towards the ground.
As you inhale gently lengthen through your torso and as you exhale fold a little deeper. Stay here for 30 sec -1min.
Uttanasana (forward fold) opens/lengthens the entire back side of the body, especially hamstrings, hips, and calves. It is included in the Sun Salutations.
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