Wide Legged Forward Fold is one of my favorite poses. I find myself going back to it again and again. With long days on set as a makeup artist I sometimes would find myself coming into this pose when I had a moment on set, just the release of my back feels so good. This pose is also great if you sit all day at a desk which can strain the back, neck, shoulders and tighten the hamstrings. Below I break all the info down for you. Let me know if you’d like to see the modifications for it!
This pose really works the hamstrings and adductor magnus they’re engaged in supporting our upper body weight as we bend forward while simultaneously being stretched. If your hamstrings are tight, engaging the quadriceps will help stabilize you as you bend forward, taking some of the pressure off the hamstrings. If the lower body is engaged it will provide the support you need to release your back, shoulders and neck as the sink towards the earth.
People with really tight hamstrings or beginners may not be able to release very far. If you find your back is arching or it feels too intense, place two blocks in front of you under your shoulders and place your hands on those. If you find this is still too much, place a chair in front of you and place your palms on the seat under your shoulders.
How to do it:
- Step your feet 3 or 4 feet apart with the sides of your feet parallel to the short end of your mat and toes pointing forward.
- Grounding down through your feet, press down equally through all parts of your foot. Lengthen your spine, feeling it straighten as you hinge forward from your hips (placing your hands where your hips fold helps this), keeping your back straight as you fold forward.
- Release down until you can place your hands on the ground beneath your shoulders.
- Remember to keep your quadriceps engaged to help balance the stretch your hamstrings experience in this pose.
- Take a deep breath here. I like to lift my torso halfway up coming to the tips of my fingers, hold for a breath, then release back into the fold. Hang out there breathing slowly for 5 or 6 breaths. Remember to keep the spine long.
- Keeping your back straight and quads engaged, slowly lift back up.