Prasarita Padottanasana, Wide Angle Standing Forward Bend, is an ultimate grounding pose.
The forward bending nature of the pose is great if you’re feeling anxious, exhausted or suffering from a headache.
It stretches the backs of the legs, inner thighs and builds strength in the ankles.
Prasarita Padottanasana is also an approachable step towards a tripod headstand - creating all the benefits of an inversion without having to bear weight on the head or neck.
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Stand in the middle of your mat with your feet at hips-width distance, palms together in front of the heart while facing the long edge of your mat.
Put a little bend in the knees and jump the feet anywhere between 3 to 4.5 feet apart - the taller you are the wider the stance.
Bring the outer edges of the feet parallel to the short edge of the mat, then pigeon toe the feet slightly.
On an inhale, bring your hands to your hips and lift your chest to lengthen the spine.
As you exhale, hinge from the hips and fold over between your legs, maintaining as much length in the spine as possible.
Lower your hands to floor and walk them back until the centre of the palms are in line with the arches of the feet.
Hands and elbows are as wide as the shoulders with the fingers pointing forwards, elbows pointing back.
If the crown of your head doesn’t make it to the floor, you can put a block or stack of books underneath to support the head.
Stay here for 5 to 10 cycles of breath.
To come out of the pose, walk your hands forwards till they’re right underneath the shoulders and the spine grows long. Bring your hands to your hips, inhale, and come back up to stand.