Massage Your Internal Organs
As well as an overall good stretch of the back of your body, a seated forward bend massages the internal organs in particular the digestive system. This is one of reasons why it’s important to avoid heavy meals at least 2 hours before a Yoga Class. If you are struggling with constipation, then a seated forward bend can help and also help prevent this uncomfortable condition.
Seated Forward Bend – Correcting Posture
Stretching the spine, muscles and connective tissue with a forward bend will help with spinal alignment and releasing any pressure in the sympathetic nervous system. The body is folded almost in half in this posture so try to relax with the breathe and do not bounce or force the upper body downwards. Ensure that your feet are kept together to keep the hips in alignment too.
If your hands touch your feet then connect your index finger and thumb into chin mudra around your big toes, helping energy to circulate around the body. Aim to bring your chest to your thighs and not your head so as to try to keep the back straight.
If you are practising this posture at home and have difficulty doing the posture with straight legs then do bend the knees and or try putting a rolled blanket at the back of the knee area to alleviate any pressure on all areas of the knee joint. Its also possible to put a block or use cushions to sit on to elevate the hip area. To make the posture more comfortable then try using a cushion as a head support or a chair. Holding the posture and relaxing into it using the exhalation to deepen the stretch will enhance the benefits of this posture. For a beginner to yoga, hold the posture for 10-30 seconds breathing deeply and repeat 2 or 3 times. More advanced students can hold the posture for approximately 5 minutes.
Other Health Benefits of the Seated Forward Bend
Other health benefits include mobilising the joints, regulation of the pancreatic functions helping with metabolism and blood sugar levels-so a superb posture for students with diabetes and hypoglycaemia. A regular practise will help relieve compression of the spine and the sciatica. This posture is also a feel good factor posture with students feeling calm and relaxed afterwards.
Beginners Yoga class in Worcester on Tuesday evenings. This Yoga class will be followed by a more advanced class suitable for all abilities 19:30-21:00 both at St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity in Worcester City Centre.