If you love to stretch your hamstrings, then I'm sure you've been loving Wide-Legged Forward Bend A and B. There are technically two more poses in this series in Ashtanga Yoga, and this one called Wide-Legged Forward Bend C will also target the shoulders.
Sanskrit Name: Prasarita Padottanasana C
English Translation: Feet Spread Intense Stretch Pose C
Also Called: Wide-Legged Forward Bend C
- Stand with your feet one leg's length distance apart (about three to four feet).
- Flare your heels slightly wider than your toes (this will help to open your hips more and intensify the stretch in your hamstrings).
- Keeping your spine as long as possible, bring your arms behind you. If you can, touch your palms together and clasp your fingers, pressing the heels of your palms together in a fist. If that's too hard, just grab a hold of opposite elbows with your hands.
- Now fold forward, hinging at your hips, drawing the crown of your head to the floor. If your hands are interlaced, try to bring them towards the ground too. Use your abdominals to pull your torso through your thighs to deepen the stretch in your lower back, hamstrings, and calves. Relax your toes and try to shift the weight of your hips forward so they're in line with your feet.
- If your head touches the ground very easily, then you can walk your feet a little closer together. If your head isn't even close to touching, that's OK. The point of this pose is to feel a nice stretch in your legs and back so as long as you feel that, you're doing it right.
- Stay here for at least five deep breaths. When you're ready to come out, press into your feet, engage your quads, and inhale as you stand up. Then release your hands.