• Sit with the legs outstretched in front of you in Staff Pose (Dandasana).
• Bend your right knee and place the right foot against the left inner thigh, relaxing the knee down.
• As you inhale, flex the left ankle, press the top of the thigh down, lengthen the spine and raise your arms either side of your head.
• Rotate your upper body slightly so you are facing the left leg and then fold forward from the hips as you exhale.
• Keep your spine long, chest open and shoulders relaxed.
• Place your hands down, framing your left leg, or take hold of your ankle or foot.
• Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.
• Inhale, as you come out of the pose.
Beginners tips • If you find it difficult to tilt the pelvis forward, sit up on a low yoga block, firm folded blanket, or cushion. Work on maintaining length in your spine, sitting upright rather than folding forward.
• Try using a strap around the ball of your foot to keep your spine long while folding forward. Just don’t pull it forcefully.
• Bend your knee as much as you need to fold from the hips.
• Releases the hips, back body and groin.
• Calms the mind.
• Stimulates digestion.
• May relieve menstrual discomfort.
Watch out for...
• Be careful not to pull yourself forcefully into the forward bend (especially if you are using a strap). This will hunch the back and shorten the front of the body. • If the back extended knee feels uncomfortable, bend it slightly and place a blanket underneath. • Skip this pose if you have any lower back pain.
• If your hands come past your foot you can take hold of the right wrist with the left hand and bind around the left foot.
• Deepen this pose by widening the angle between the two legs. This happens by bringing the bent knee further back.
• In Yin yoga there's a similar pose called Half-Butterfly. The difference is that in Yin yoga the student relaxes into the pose rather than using gentle muscular effort to nudge into a forward bend. So the back is more rounded and soft and the legs are relaxed. The pose is held for between 3 and 5 minutes in a Yin yoga practice.
Alternative Seated Forward Bend Paschimottanasana
Counterpose Upward Plank Pose Purvottanasana
If you have any questions about Lotus Leaf Yoga, please don't hesitate to get in touch and I'll be happy to help. firstname.lastname@example.org text: 07 514 777 777