Uttanasana – Standing Forward Fold
Uttanasana is a simple pose that is pretty accessible to most people and I love it so much. I feel that this pose has so many options for people who may not be as flexible as others. Many people have a goal just to touch the floor, but if their hamstrings are not open enough for that, overly rounding of the lower back will happen. So if that’s the case, bringing hands onto blocks or upper shins will help considerably. This gives the person the opportunity to lengthen the low back as well as the hamstrings. If you are more flexible and can reach the ground without overly rounding your low back, then you have to make sure you are strongly engaging your quadriceps so that you don’t hurt your hamstring insertions. If you are properly engaged, the stretch feels wonderful in both your hamstrings and your back. I personally really like to do this stretch first thing in the morning, it’s like dusting off the sleep and getting you ready for your day. The simplicity and wonderful feeling this stretch gives me is the reason why I LOVE uttanasana!