Intense Leg Stretch Pose (Standing Wide-Legged Forward Fold Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana A

Prasarita Padottanasana is a standing forward-bend posture done with the feet apart. Of the many benefits that come with the practice of Prasarita Padottanasana, one main advantage is the strengthening of the leg muscles. This happens because , in Prasarita Padottanasana the feet are extended and spread wide apart thus creating an intense stretch for the leg muscles.

Prasarita Padottanasana is the base or common pose after which other variations may be practiced. The difference in all these variations is the placement of the hands. These variations, mentioned below, are generally done together in a yoga sequence:

  • Prasarita Padottanasana B (Intense Leg Stretch Pose B)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Intense Leg Stretch Pose C)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana D (Intense Leg Stretch Pose D)

Prasarita Padottanasana is considered a base pose as prasarita padottanasana variations can be derived from this pose. Prasarita Padottanasana helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start in Tadasana standing at the middle of the mat turned so you have the length of the mat on each side of you.
Step 2
Step or gently jump your feet out wide.
Step 3
Turn your toes slightly pointing inwards.
Step 4
Place your hands on your hips. Press the outside of the feet down to the ground throughout this pose so you can see the arch of your foot being lifted and activated.
Step 5
Start folding your upper body forwards and down as deep as you can.
Step 6
Release your hands to the ground underneath your face.
Step 7
Activate the muscles in your legs, lift up your kneecaps and lift the sitting bones a little higher. This helps your pelvis to tilt a little further forwards which in turn folds your upper body deeper and the crown of the head closer to the ground.
Step 8
Place your hands so you have foot-hand-hand-foot alignment. Drop your head down in between your hands, maybe even the crown of your head touches the floor. Elbows are pointing back, bent in a 90 degree angle. Modifications Beginner: Place your hands on a block if you yet can’t reach the floor. Intermediate: If you want to sink deeper in this pose grab your index and middle finger around your big toes and splay the elbows out to the sides. Let your head drop down to the floor.

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Strengthens and stretches the inner and back legs and the spine

Tones the abdominal organs

Calms the brain

Relieves mild backache

Contraindications

Lower-back problems: Avoid the full forward bend

Blood pressure or a Migraine

Imbalance or Instability

Arthritis or Fibromyalgia

Photo poses in different angles

Tips

It is important to keep your back elongated and the front of your body open. If you feel at any point that you start to round your back as you are lowering further down, come back a little. Integrity and respect for your body’s boundaries are more important than how far you come into the pose.

If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees enough to feel that you are able to maintain a straight back more easily and use blocks under your hands.

To get the feeling of placing the crown of your head on the “floor”, place a block (or two) underneath your head.

Modifications & Variations
  • Intense Leg Stretch Pose Variation
  • Wide Legged Forward Bend Pose On Tiptoes
  • Seated Wide Legged Forward Bend Pose Hands Chair
  • Wide Legged Forward Bend Pose Head On Block
  • Pendulum Pose
  • Five Pointed Star Pose Arms Up
  • Intense Leg Stretch Pose D
  • Five Pointed Star Pose
  • House Pose
  • Intense Leg Stretch Pose B
  • Intense Leg Stretch Pose Variation Hands To Ankles Head Chair
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Triangle Pose
  • Goddess Pose
  • Warrior Pose II
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Intense Leg Stretch Pose C
  • Revolved Wide Legged Forward Fold Bend Pose
  • Intense Leg Stretch Pose B

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana has been actively practicing yoga for 5 years. In addition to practice, she studies various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.