Toward the end of many yoga classes, we practice seated forward bend and bound angle pose. The poses may be part of a sequence that includes other seated folds and twists as we wind down toward savasana.
Benefits of Seated Forward Bend and Bound Angle Pose
Both seated forward bend and bound angle pose can help your heart rate slow down so your body can relax. This makes them ideal poses for the end of class. Other benefits of the poses include:
- You’ll get a good stretch along the spine and lower back.
- Both poses help stimulate organs in the abdomen.
- The poses calm the brain and help relieve stress.
- The poses can help alleviate headaches and tension in the neck and shoulders.
- You’ll get a good hamstring stretch.
Start in Staff Pose
Staff pose is a good foundation for a forward fold, so it’s helpful to start there and then move into forward bends. Staff pose encourages good posture and elongates the spine so it’s easier to bend forward.
Come into staff pose by sitting up straight and extending your legs out in front of you on the mat. Be sure your legs are together, your shoulders are over your hips, and your spine is long. Remember to keep your feet flexed to engage your thighs.
If it’s difficult to sit comfortably in this position, you can sit on a blanket or block.
How to Practice Seated Forward Bend and Bound Angle Pose
On an exhale fold forwards from your hip creases towards your legs. Keep your spine straight and move your chest forward. You want to stretch your hamstrings in this pose, but you don’t necessarily have to touch your chest to your knees.
If your hamstrings feel tight, you can bend your knees slightly before folding forward. Depending on your level of flexibility, either rest your hands on your knees, shins, or feet or even interlace them under your feet. Remember to keep your feet flexed. Gaze slightly forward but avoid compressing the back of your neck by looking too far up.
Transition to Bound Angle Pose
Come back up on an inhale. On an exhale, bend your knees and bring your heels as close to your pelvis as possible. Let your knees drop out to the sides and bring the soles of your feet together. From here, hold your big toes with the thumb and index finger of each hand. You can also hold on to your ankles if it feels more comfortable.
The important thing here is to make sure you don’t round your spine. If you feel like you’re slouching, or if you experience any discomfort in your knees, move your feet slightly away from your pelvis so you can sit upright comfortably.
Take a few deep breaths in this pose. Then inhale, lift your knees off the floor, and bring them in towards your chest. Give yourself a hug.
You can practice seated forward bend and bound angle pose whenever you want to take a quick stretching break or need to calm your body. You’ll find both poses in many of the classes on the Track Yoga app!