The front side of the body is called east side, while the back side is called the west side. In this Asana complete back side, i.e., the west side, right from the heels to the forehead, gets stretched and therefore, it is called ‘Pashchimottanasana’.
!st. Position: Sitting Position.
How to do the exercise: Only inhale.
Exhale, and hold the big toes of both the feet with both the hands.
In exhaled state bend downward and rest the forehead on the knees. Continue smooth breathing. (as shown in the pictures)
Position: After bending down, keep the heels, calves, thighs completely touching to the floor, keeping the spine straight, rest the forehead on the knees and continue smooth breathing. Try to rest the elbows on the floor.
Since here the abdomen gets completely folded, it becomes necessary to bend only after complete exhalation.
One should bend downward as much as one’s body permits and then try to stabilize at that point, keeping the breathing smooth. Do not try to raise the knees in order to get the forehead on to the knees.
After taking the position, relax the whole body and automatically the head, shoulder, chest will come down owing to their weight and relaxation.
Releasing: Exhale, and inhaling, start raising the head.
Restore the hands to their place and take up the sitting position.
Duration: One finds it difficult to take up this Asana initially. But with practice and patience it can be maintained for thirty seconds. Later one certainly succeeds in having the final position and the duration is also increased to three minutes.
Benefits: This exercise, if done properly and regularly , will give various benefefits. As the whole of the west side gets stretched, they get purified and their functioning is greatly improved. At the same time, the muscles of the front side get contracted and there is pressure on the lungs, intestines and other internal juice producing glands. As a result of this their functioning is also improved.
It is very useful in setting right the troubles concerning the lumber part of the spinal cord and the digestive system.
Further, there is very sensitive part in our body known as Kundalini lying in dormant stage. This Asana is supposed to activate it.
Precaution : It has been said that this Asana is useful for the troubles of the spine. Yet ,people suffering from such troubles should practice this Asana only after consulting some Yoga experts.
Reference Book:– Yoga Pravesh