November’s Pose of the Month
On the fourth Monday of each month, we introduce the following month's "Pose of the Month." You won't necessarily find any dedicated focus given to that pose in your classes at Jaya, although some teachers may chose to do so; it is more about the idea of exposing us to various poses and how we might benefit from incorporating them into our own personal practice.
This article is designed to give you basic information on the pose, as well as step-by-step instructions (accompanied by photographs of our Jaya teachers as illustration) to guide you. We expect many will be familiar, while some may be new to you.
As always, we look forward to hearing back from you as you read our weekly posts. We’d love to hear your feedback! And, of course, feel free to share with your friends!
Pashimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend
The changing of the seasons brings cooler weather, which can bring on colds or even mild depression. Pashimottanasana, translated as “intense stretch to the west”, can calm the brain and help ease stress. It is also touted as good for soothing headaches, reducing anxiety, and lessening fatigue. Other benefits might include stretching the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings; stimulating the liver, kidneys, ovaries and uterus; and improving digestion.
We could all use a little more Pashimottanasana in our lives!
Begin on the floor, seated on a folded blanket, with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Flex your feet and rotate your upper, inner thighs in towards each other, as you press them down into the floor.
Inhaling, extend your arms towards the sky and lengthen your spine. As you exhale, hinge forward from the hips, leading with your heart, and extend your hands towards your feet. If possible, grab your big toes with your first and second fingers, resting your thumbs on the top of your big toes.
If this isn’t possible, let your hands fall comfortably on top of your shins, thighs, or alongside your legs on the floor - - wherever they can comfortably rest. Another option is to loop a strap/belt/man’s tie around your feet and hold firm. Be sure your elbows are straight, not bent. With each inhale, lengthen your spine ad with each exhale, deepen your forward bend.
Never force yourself into a pose. If you experience tightness in the hamstrings (backs of your legs), try bending your knees or sliding a rolled up towel or blanket under the knees, or both.
Stay in the position anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes.
Want to share with us a photo of you practicing this month’s pose? We’d love it see it! Have a friend snap you in the POM, tag us @jayayogastudio, and use the hashtag #jayspom.