What is Paschimottanasana (Intense Back Stretch)
The back of your body, from your heels to your head, is known as paschim, which means “west” in sanskrit.
Ut indicates “intense,” while tan means “stretch.”
This asana stretches the length of your spine, allowing the life-force to flow to every part of your body.
Resting your forehead on your knees, calms the active front brain, and keeps the meditative back brain quiet, yet alert.
Benefits of Paschimottanasana
- Rests and massages the heart, normalizes the blood pressure and the pulse rate
- Tones the kidneys, bladder, and pancreas
- Activates a sluggish liver and improves the digestive system
- Helps treat impotence
- Stimulates the ovaries, uterus, and the entire reproductive system
- Sharpens memory
- Soothes the sympathetic nervous system
- Prevents fatigue
- Rests the heart,
- Relieves chronic headaches, migraines, and eye strain
- Reduces stress in the facial muscles
- Alleviates stress-related compression or a feeling of tightness in the throat and diaphragm
- Improves blood circulation in the pelvic area, toning the pelvic organs
- Regulates blood supply to the endocrine glands, activating and soothing the adrenal glands, and relaxing the thyroid gland
- Cools the temperature of the skin
- Strengthens the vertebral joints and stretches the ligaments of the spine
- Do not practice this asana during, or just after, an asthmatic attack or bronchitis.
- Avoid this pose if you have diarrhea.
- Do not allow your thighs to lift off the floor, as the muscles at the back of your knees might rupture.
- Avoid this asana if you have cervical spondylosis.