This is a fantastic posture for relieving back pain, and it’s a great way to warm up your spine for yoga practice, making it an essential part of vinyasa or “flow” yoga classes. If you’re a beginner, allow your knees to bend, and use a block to reach the ground.
Target Area: Hamstrings, Core Spine
- Improves hamstring mobility
- Reduces risk of spine and hip injury
- Relieves back pain caused by tight hip
- Stand in Mountain pose with your big toes touching and your heels about 1in (2.5cm) apart.
- Hinge at the hips, pulling your chest toward your thighs, and your thighs toward your chest, to move into Standing forward fold.
- Inhale as you pull your torso forward and up, making your spine straight and parallel to the floor.
- Lightly press hands into your shins to lengthen chest forward.
- Reach tailbone upward and tighten your abs to straighten your spine.
- Engage your thighs by lightly squeezing your legs toward each other.
- Hold the posture, inhaling as you lengthen the spine, and exhaling as you tighten the core and stretch the hamstrings.
- If you can’t keep your back straight, rest your hands on a block in front of you, and bend your knees as needed.
Imagine yourself tipping forward slightly—this helps you properly engage your core, strengthen your spine, and work deeper into the hamstrings.
Want to see more info like this? These photos and sections are taken from Yoga Fitness for Men, published in May 2018 by DK Publishers, and written by Dean Pohlman (that’s me), the founder of Man Flow Yoga.