Calm the mind and slow down the breathing by spending a minute or two in Uttanasana [Standing Forward Bend Pose] which is a calming yoga pose.
In Standing Forward Bend, the feet are together, all four points of both feet are grounded into ground and the upper body is bent forward at the hips, allowing the head to hang with the hands placed on the floor.
How to Perform Standing Forward Bend:
1. Start in Tadasana, or Mountain Pose, with your hands on your hips. On the exhale, engage the core and slowly bend forward at your hips and bring your head toward the floor.
2. As your head gets closer to the floor, reach out and place fingers or your hands, down at the sides of your feet. Press your heels into the floor and lift your tailbone to the sky as you draw the crown of the towards your feet. If you cannot touch the floor with your hands, grab each elbow with the opposite hand.
3. On the inhale, lift your torso slightly, and on the exhale, draw deeper into the pose. Keep your neck loose and release any tension in your shoulders and neck.
4. Continue this pose for 30 seconds to one minute. When you are ready, come out of the pose by placing your hands on your hips and engaging your core, gluteal muscles and hamstrings to bring your torso to starting position.
* If the pose is challenging for you then take a gentle bend in the knees.
Potential Health Benefits
- Is a resting or calming pose which helps relieve stress and mild depression
- Stimulates abdominal organs including liver and kidneys
- Stretches leg muscles including hamstrings, calves, hips, and gluteal muscles
- Reduces fatigue and increases alertness
- Releases lower back tightness and lengthens the muscles that run along the spine