When people first start yoga, they are often disappointed with their bodies. This is usually because it’s not as flexible as they thought it was, or as they’d like it to be. They see their classmates and teacher folding into complex postures and become disheartened.
However, yoga isn’t about the acrobatics. It’s not about how flexible you are on the yoga mat or what positions you can put your body into. People who can fold into complex postures have practiced yoga for a long time and built up their skills. They have developed their strength and flexibility and have learned to appreciate their bodies and what they can do.
Your first yoga experience is a wonderful thing. It teaches you to appreciate your body as its strength and flexibility develop. With this in mind, try not to rush yourself or be disheartened. Instead of focusing on what you cannot do, allow your body to just be. Learn about its strength, flexibility, and power, and experience what the practice is all about.
At the end of the day, you cannot be good or bad at yoga. For the most part, you cannot have a natural talent that magically makes you amazing. Instead, you’ll need to build up your skills with time, practice, and dedication. At its core, yoga is the exploration and appreciation of your body. One of the easiest postures to start with is Forward Fold. Not only is this asana simple to practice, but it also boasts a range of great benefits. In this article, we explore yoga practice and the appreciation of the body in Forward Fold in more detail.
Forward Fold is one of the best yoga poses of all time. Also known as Uttanasana, the posture is both easy to practice and great for your health. Even experienced yogis swear by this pose, so it’s not just for beginners. Whether you’re on the mat or practicing on the go, stand in Forward Fold for just one minute to feel totally different.
When we stress, tension builds in the shoulders, neck, and jaw. You may notice this in day to day life, or even when you wake up in the morning. Thankfully, stepping on the mat and getting into Forward Fold resets your system and reduces tension. Even if you wake to feel refreshed and recharged, practice Forward Fold to prevent tension for accumulating during the day. When you start practicing regularly, you’ll start to notice pain or tightness on days when you can’t practice. Take this as advice from your body to reduce your stress levels and relax the muscles. No matter how far you can stretch into Forward Fold, you’re guaranteed to feel great afterward. The posture helps you to feel relaxed and aware, as well as giving the muscles some well-deserved relief. If you notice tension building throughout the rest of the day, stop what you’re doing and retreat back into Forward Fold. Even if you only have 30 seconds to practice it, that’s better than nothing.
To practice Forward Fold, stand tall with your feet either together or hip-width apart. While either position is fine, hip-width will make it easier to balance and give you more space to practice the pose. Keeping your feet together will provide an extra stretch in your legs and help you to perfect your balance, so the best position really depends on what you want from the pose. Focus on your breath. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Forget about the world around you and concentrate on your breathing. After a few seconds, raise your arms slowly above your head. If you like, take time to stretch a little here.
Next, slowly bend forward. If you’d like more stability, place your hand on your waist. Bend your knees as much as you like throughout the pose. When you’re in position, let your arms hang or cross them and hold your elbows – whichever feels most comfortable. You’re in Forward Fold. Take time to focus on your breath, remembering to breathe slowly in and out. Relax your neck, back, jaw, and shoulders, as well as all the muscles in your face. As you breathe in, feel your ribcage expand and feel your back muscles relax as you breathe out. Hold the pose for around 1 minute, allowing your blood to flow in the opposite direction.
To prevent injuries or head rush, it’s important to come out of the pose slowly. Instead of skipping the ‘getting out’ process, take time to exit the pose properly. Throughout the process, move calmly and mindfully. The best way to exit Forward Fold is to roll up vertebrae by vertebrae. Touch your chin on your chest and roll up slowly, continuing to breathe deeply as you do so. Breathe in and out a couple of times when getting all the way to the top. If you want to continue your practice with another pose, that’s fine. If not, continue rolling up and out of Forward Fold and go about the rest of your day.
So, there you have it – yoga practice and the appreciation of the body in a Forward Fold. This amazing asana will relax your muscles, revitalize your body, and calm your nerves. If you need instant peace and relaxation, throw on your yoga hoodie and practice a Forward Fold. During the posture, don’t think too much; instead, do what feels right for your body and mind. If you want to hold a position for a little longer, feel free to do so. If you want to come out of the pose after a few seconds, that’s fine too.