Prasarita Padottanasana: Relieve SI Joint Pain

Prasarita PadottanasanaThere is a theme among the forward folds that I’ve written about this month. Janushirsasana, Paschimottanasana, Upavista Konasana, and Prasarita Padottanasana all relieve SI joint pain when done correctly.

What distinguishes Prasarita Padottanasana is that it is a great opportunity to naturally traction your spine because it is also a standing posture.

As your adductors stretch, your legs will be able to reach further apart. When they are tight, you will want your legs to be closer together. So, when you do this pose, make sure that you are constantly aware of how your body is feeling so that you can set your feet to the appropriate distance.

Prasarita Padottanasana

  1. We will use ujjayi breathing.
  2. There are a couple different ways to get into this pose. You could simply turn lengthwise on your mat and place your feet far apart from each other. If this is how you want to get into the pose, ignore Step 3. However, I prefer to begin as if I’m preparing to get into Warrior 2 because I find that I get a better distance with my legs. When I reach one leg back, I can trick my tight adductors and put a greater distance between my feet.
  3. From the front of your mat, reach one leg back. Spin the foot down so that the toes point to the long edge of your mat.
  4. Come up to standing and spin the toes of your front foot so that your toes face the same direction.
  5. Make sure that your feet are on the same line.
  6. Slightly pigeon toe, pointing your toes toward each other.
  7. Put a soft bend in the back of your knees. This is important and will help you do the pose correctly. Don’t skip this or mistakenly think that it doesn’t apply to you.
  8. It’s important to remember that your upper body is lowering toward the ground because your pelvis is rotating.
  9. Put your hands on your hips and feel your pelvis rotate. Notice how you are lowering toward the ground.
  10. When your spine is parallel to the floor, place your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders. If you are pregnant or have blood pressure issues, stay here.
  11. To lower your head, continue to rotate your pelvis.
  12. As the adductors soften, you may be able to wiggle your feet a little further apart. Be sure that you keep a soft bend in the knees and that the toes point slightly toward each other. As you wiggle your feet apart from each other, you will notice that the floor comes closer to your head.
  13. Resist the temptation to soften and try to collapse to the floor. Instead, think of reaching your pelvis up toward the ceiling as it rotates and lowers your torso toward the floor.
  14. Hold for at least 5 breaths.
  15. Inhale to lengthen.
  16. Exhale to soften.
  17. To come out, heel-toe your feet toward each other. Place your hands on your hips, and come to standing.

Prasarita Padottanasana Video

Forward folds like this one are a great way to naturally traction your spine. How does this pose make your back feel? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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