Every family of yoga poses has its own unique energetic benefits. While the musculoskeletal benefits of postures are more obvious, benefits like open hamstrings, strengthening the core, or opening the shoulders, the energetic and emotional benefits are more subtle but important and valuable in their own way.
For example, backbends, are uplifting and energizing and a perfect remedy for sluggish depressed energy. Inversions are excellent not only for the lymphatic and circulatory systems but also for changing perspective and getting a new angle on looking at things. Twists not only are physically detoxing but are also a catalyst to help you let things go and shed things holding you back.
Forward folds are unique in their own special way. They give you the ability to go inwards and physically and emotionally. Physically, they are fantastic for relieving back pain as they open the entire backside of your body (legs and back).
Energetically and emotionally, forward folds, are soothing and calming, even if it doesn't feel like it while you're in the posture. They are an excellent family of postures for combatting anxiety and soothing your nervous system. If you feel a lot of scattered and overwhelming fast energy, practice any of these forward folds, for several breaths, to give yourself a moment to calm and ground.
Here are 7 simple Forward Folds to help you experience the calming benefits of these asanas.
Wide-Legged Forward Fold: Prasarita Padottanasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold is a powerful stretch and strengthening posture for the entirety of both legs. This versatile pose that requires engagement through the feet and legs, is a partial inversion, opens the hips, and lengthens the spine.
Standing Forward Fold: Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend is a calming posture that will stretch your calves, hamstrings, and back muscles while rejuvenating your mind and body.
Seated Forward Fold: Paschimotanasana
Paschimotanasana is a grounding forward fold, that stimulates your root chakra, calms your nervous system, and stretches the entire spine and back of the legs.
Janu Sirsasana: Head to Knee Forward Fold
Head to knee pose is a powerful stretch for your hamstrings. It also opens your hips, gluteus muscles, and back of your neck.
Child's Pose: Balasana
This is a partial forward fold, but still has many of the calming benefits. Child's pose is a restful posture that will allow you to catch your breath, open your hips, lengthen your spine, and feel grounded.
Downward Facing Dog: Adho Mukha Svanasana
This is another partial forward fold and partial inversion. Downward Facing Dog is a common therapeutic yoga posture that elongates spinal muscles and rejuvenates your entire body.
Standing Split: Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana
Standing Splits challenges you to find a balance of strength, flexibility, and grace while opening your hamstrings, quads, and back.
Pyramid Pose: Parsvottanasana
Pyramid pose is a challenging and deep forward bend. Your legs not only stretch but also strengthen in this posture. It's important to continue to lengthen your spine while holding this posture.
Ready to relieve anxiety through yoga? This Yoga for Anxiety Relief program will have you feeling calmer and more centered.
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