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Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend is another pose that looks like it's all relaxation, but you will feel a deep and intense stretch in your hamstrings and upper back. While the full expression of the pose calls for straight legs, if that feels like too much on your body, give a little bend to your knees to create more space. Remember to breathe deep, and come up slowly.

  • From Downward Facing Dog, keep your hands on your mat, and slowly step one foot at a time to the top of your mat so your feet meet your hands. Inhale with a flat back, and gaze slightly forward.
  • As you exhale, engage your abs to fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of your head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes, trying to straighten the legs as much as possible. If this feels uncomfortable, allow your knees to have a little bend so you can focus on releasing your back.
  • Place your hands on the ground, fingertips lining up with your toes.
  • Hold here for 10 breaths.
  • Slowly roll up one vertebrae at a time, and step back to Downward Facing Dog.

Source: Laughing River Yoga