Parvritta Prasarita Padottanasana, or Rotated wide leg forward fold, is a great way to reap some of the benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana combined with the benefits of spinal rotation. When we practice Prasarita Padottanasana, we get to open the SI joint with a tilt of the pelvis and naturally traction our spine. In Parvritta Prasarita Padottanasana, we don’t lower the head toward the floor, so we don’t get the natural spinal traction.
However, we do get to practice rotation. Rotation is important for your body because it resets your central nervous system and massages your intestines and other internal organs. Also, rotation is part of your daily life. Every time you drive or turn to investigate a noise, you’re relying on your spinal rotation skills. Having strong and balanced spinal muscles can help prevent back injuries, too.
Here’s how to practice this helpful pose.
Parvritta Prasarita Padottanasana
- Use ujjayi breathing.
- Follow the directions for Prasarita Padottanasana to get your legs set.
- Make sure you keep a soft bend in the back of your knees. Don’t skip this or mistakenly think that it doesn’t apply to you.
- It’s important to remember that your upper body is lowering toward the ground because your pelvis is tilting.
- Put your hands on your hips and feel your pelvis tilt. Notice how you are lowering toward the ground.
- When your spine is parallel to the floor, place your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders.
- Place your left hand in line with the center of your body. Raise up on fingertips. I normally try to have my hand under my sternum (breastbone). Put your right hand on your hip.
- Inhale to lengthen your spine from your SITs bones through the top of your head. Make sure to draw your belly to your spine.
- Exhale to rotate your spine to the right. As you rotate, make sure to rotate all the way through your spine and allow your gaze to move toward the ceiling.
- To increase the challenge of the rotation, straighten your right arm.
- Hold here for 5-8 breaths.
- After your last breath, rotate back to center.
- Place your right fingertips on the floor aligned with the center of your chest. Put your left hand on your hip and follow steps 10-14 to complete the other side.
- To come up to standing, bring your hands to your hips and heel-toe your feet toward each other.
Parvritta Prasarita Padottanasana Video
Here is a video for visual learners.
What is your favorite way to rotate? Let us know in the comments below.
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