Seated Forward Bend

Seated Forward Bend - YanvaYoga

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) is a classic pose from Hatha yoga. Paschimottanasana literally translates to “Intense Stretch of The West”. It gives the whole back of your body a good stretch, from your calves to your hamstrings (back of the thighs) to your spine.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
From Dandasana, gently press your sitting bones into the floor (or your prop) and draw your lower belly in and up.
Step 2
Lengthen your spine as you inhale.
Step 3
Fold forward hinging from the hips as you exhale. Do not fold deeper than you can with a straight back.
Step 4
Keep length in the front of the body, moving from your belly, through your ribcage, chest, and then your forehead towards your legs.
Step 5
Let your arms slide down along the floor. If your hands reach your feet, wrap your first two fingers and thumbs around your big toes. Bend your elbows, keep them lifting away from the floor out to the sides and keep your shoulders away from the ears. If you can’t hold your feet, loop a strap around the soles of the feet, hold the strap with both hands and keep your arms straight.
Step 6
To go deeper into the pose, with every in-breath keep lengthening through the front of your torso, lifting your head slightly. With each out-breath see if you can fold deeper into the pose, maintaining a long spine whilst hinging from the hips. Keep your neck in line with your spine. If you hold a strap, walk your hands slowly down the strap as you go deeper. Keep your arms straight.

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications


Balances liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, ovaries and uterus

Stretches spine, shoulders, hamstrings and pelvis

Therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia, infertility and sinusitis

Improves digestion

Relieves insomnia

Reduces anxiety




Back injury

Pregnancy (2nd and 3rd trimester requires modifications)

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props & Tips

If you have difficulty reaching all the way to your toes, position a yoga strap around your feet and grasp it with both hands. You may also bend your knees enough so you can reach your feet with your hands.

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.