Paschimottanasana

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Paschimottanasana, Seated Forward Bend, or Intense Dorsal Stretch is an asana. The name is an amalgamation of three words: Paschima – West/Back, Uttana – Intense Stretch and Asana –Pose.
This seemingly simple asana is a classic Hatha Yoga pose that has many benefits. The Paschimottanasana covers a whole lot of systems in the body and is particularly useful for diabetes and high blood pressure.
This asana also gives the entire body a good stretch.

How To Do The Paschimottanasana

Sit erect, with your legs stretched out in front of you. Make sure that
your toes are flexed towards you. Inhale, and raise your arms over your head. Stretch. Exhale and bend forward. Feel the fold from your hip joints. Your chin should move towards your toes. Stretch out your arms and let them reach the furthest they can, possibly till your toes. But make sure that you don’t stretch too far. Inhale. Then, lifting your
head slightly, elongate your spine. Exhale and move your navel towards your knees. Repeat this a few times. Then, place your head on your legs, and hold the pose. Inhale and come up back to the sitting position with your arms stretched out. Exhale and lower your arms.

Benefits

These are some amazing benefits of Paschimottanasana:
This asana calms the mind and also relieves mild depression and stress.
The shoulders, spine, and hamstrings get a good stretch.
The kidneys, liver, uterus, and ovaries are activated.

Practicing this asana regularly helps improve digestion.
Menopause and menstrual discomfort can be combated with this asana.
Anxiety, headaches, and fatigue are reduced.
High blood pressure, insomnia, infertility, and sinusitis can be cured
with this asana.
Paschimottanasana is said to cure diseases, increase appetite and
reduce obesity.

Precautions
These are a few points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana:
Avoid this asana if you have asthma or diarrhoea.
In case you have a back injury, you must make sure to practice this
asana only under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor.
Pregnant women must avoid practicing this asana.

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