Learn Yoga with the Forward Fold Pose
Edited by HealthNut, Eng, VisiHow
The Forward Fold, also known as the Big Toe Pose or the Padangusthasana, is a stretch in yoga designed to strengthen your thigh muscles. The pose also stretches the calf and the hamstring muscles. However, you should not attempt this pose if you have a lower-back or neck injury, as this pose can aggravate those injuries. This pose also helps to relieve stress and anxiety and improves your digestion. If the pose is done correctly, it can also help relieve headaches and insomnia if you are a sufferer. Due to the pressure it puts on your stomach, your liver and kidneys will also be stimulated by performing this pose.
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The Forward Fold Step-by-Step
- 1Read up on our article for how to warm up for yoga.Advertisement
- 3Place your index and middle fingers between your big toe and second toe on each of your feet. Curl those fingers and grip your big toe firmly. Wrap your thumbs around the other fingers if you feel that your grip is a little loose. If you cannot reach your toes without going off-balance, then feel free to put a strap around each of your feet and hold the straps instead. You can also try the Reclining Big Toe Pose if you prefer.
- 4As you breathe in, raise your chest as if you are about to stand and straighten your elbows. Stretch your torso, and when you next breathe out, raise your sitting bones (around your pelvis). Depending on how flexible you are, your lower back will stretch more or less. As this happens, release your hamstring muscles and allow your lower belly to hollow like your back was before. The lower belly is the area beneath your belly button. It should fall towards the back of your pelvis.
- 9If your hamstring muscles are particularly long, it is possible for you to push your forehead to your shins. Do not try to push this though if your hamstrings are short as forcing it can cause injury to your lower back. Instead, it is better to just focus on keeping your chest lengthened as much as you can and still be comfortable.
- 11You can exit the pose by coming up to a flat back position and then to a Mountain Pose.
- 12Follow up with our how-to on cooling down after yoga.
Variations on this pose:
- You can create a sequence involving this pose with the addition of some other simple poses. You can go from the downward facing dog to the forward-fold position. If you're struggling with the full-forward fold pose, you can modify it into a half-forward fold by bending in that way that your fingers touch the floor and are not curled around your toes. This is more comfortable for those who have trouble bending down or who are true beginners at yoga.
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Categories : Sports
Recent edits by: Eng, HealthNut