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Yoga pose of the week

Seated forward bend/ Paschimottanasana has calming effects and relieves stress.

1. Sit on the floor with your buttocks supported on a folded blanket and your legs straight in front of you. Press actively through your heels.

2. Draw the inner groins deep into the pelvis. Inhale — and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis. Take the sides of the feet with your hands, thumbs on the soles, elbows fully extended (elbows are straight, not bent).

3. When you are ready to go further, don’t forcefully pull yourself into the forward bend. Lengthen the front torso into the pose, keeping your head raised.

4With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso slightly; with each exhalation, release a little more fully into the bend.

5. Stay in the pose anywhere from one to three minutes. To come up, lift the torso away from the thighs. Inhale and lift the torso up by pulling the tailbone down and into the pelvis.

Benefits

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

Stretches the spine, shoulders and hamstrings



Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries and uterus



Improves digestion



Soothes headaches and anxiety



Reduces fatigue



Therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia and sinusitis

– Pose courtesy of Stephanie Knutsson, Bodyism Yoga instructor