On the exhale bring your gaze forward and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. Keep your spine straight. Stop when your spine is parallel to the floor and keep your hands on your hips.
If you are a beginner start focusing on this variation, Ardha Uttanasana. Your can use two blocks as shown in the picture on the left or reach the floor with your hands as in the right picture. Keep your chest open and lengthen your neck (neutral neck). Hips are in line with your heels.
If you feel comfortable in the previews position, on next exhale completely forward fold in Uttanasana, bringing your chest on your thighs.
- Feet together and toes spread
- Legs touching and engaged
- Hips in line with heels
- Long spine
- Belly touching thighs
- Neck in line with the spine
Benefits: Stretches the spine, hips, groins and calfs (the stretch on the back side of the legs is a direct consequence of the stretch of the upper body). Strengthens the muscles of thighs and knees. Uttanasana has a calming effect on the mind and it helps with insomnia, headache, anxiety and fatigue. It helps the digestion process and stimulates the activity of liver and kidneys.
- Practice the position with your legs open hips width apart.
- Practice the position bending your knees focusing on keeping the spine straight and the belly on your thighs.