If life’s stresses have managed to get a hold of you and making you feel like a lion trapped in a too-small cage, there’s one simple yoga move you can do at-home to calm the mind and rejuvenate the whole body.
The Forward Fold, also known as Uttanasana, is good for relieving stress, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, mild depression and insomnia. On top of this, it is also “a great pose to bring blood circulating to the head and face, and with regular practice, should have a beautifying effect,” according to Ballet Sculpt founder and yoga teacher Cat Woods.
If you’re still not sold, this little manoeuvre has further health benefits – practicing this pose can help stimulate the liver and kidneys and improve digestion. It is also known to be therapeutic for asthma, sinusitis, high blood pressure, infertility and osteoporosis.
So how does one simple yoga move manage to do all of these things? Dropping your head below your heart calms your brain. By opening the hips, Forward Fold can relieve tension in the neck and shoulders, while the stretch also works to ease the load on the spine, balance the hormonal system, stretch hamstrings, and lengthen the lower back.
As well as having more benefits than you can poke a stick at, Forward Fold requires no equipment and is incredibly easy to perform. “It basically involves standing with feet hip distance apart and folding forward from the hips. The neck is able to extend, and the shoulders flop,” advises Cat.
To do the pose, let the crown of your head hang down to your knees, keep your torso long and press your heels into the floor. For those that are more flexible, keep your legs straight and put the palms of your hands on the floor. To modify the pose, bend your knees without locking them before placing your palms on the ground. Hold the pose for up to one minute.
Have you ever tried the Forward Fold pose? What one yoga move do you do to feel Zen?