Whole & Unleashed

Yoga 101: 5 Seated Forward folds

Welcome to Yoga 101: A series to ease into yoga.

Today we’re focusing on a couple of easy seated forward folds. I love this pose because it feels so good and you get such a nice stretch without doing much! This perfect to start for yoga for beginners. It will help with your lower back, back for your legs and spine.

Here are 5 seated forward bends variations:

1) Cross legged forward fold + self massage tip

Start in a comfortable seated position with your legs crossed. Big inhale float your hands above you, chest open and exhale slowly fold forward. So there’s a couple of options here, you can simply crawl your hands in front of you and lean on your palms. If you want to come down on your forearms, go ahead. Maybe a nice sway side to side. Notice of your back feels. Another option is to come all the way down on your forehead

1.2) Half lotus forward fold

So this one is a slight variation from the cross legged forward fold. You’re going into a half lotus by bringing your half ankle on top of the opposite knee (make sure there’s no pain) If this doesn’t feel comfortable, simply ease out of this.

When you’re ready, big inhale fold your hands up high, chest open, spine lengthened and exhale gently walk your hands forwards.

So same variations here you can be on your palms, forearms or come all the way down to your forehead.

Tip: You can also give yourself a nice shiatsu massage

And once you’re done with this side, try the other side out. One leg might feel different than the other and that’s ok. Listen to how your body feels.

2) Head to knee forward fold

Sit with one knee bent and the other one straight. Big inhale, exhale slowly crawl towards the straight leg. You can grab a hold of your foot if that feels nice, gentle bend on the knee.

Slowly bring your head close to your knee, see how that feels. Each inhale gently lifting you up and exhale relaxing into the pose

3) Wide legged forward fold

Wide angle forward fold

Sit with your legs wide, big inhale to open and exhale crawl forward. You can lean on your palms, come down to forearms and all the way down to forehead if it feels good! You also don’t have to be static, feel free to crawl around and linger where if feels good to linger.

4) Seated forward fold

Start with your feet together, maybe gentle bend on the knees. Make sure there’s no pain. Big inhale to lift and open up, exhale fold over. Bring your torso close to your thighs. And rest here for a couple of breaths. Letting your inhale and exhale roll through you. Resting your head and neck. Bringing your torso close to your thigh.

Another variation, is to bring your chest close to your knee, grab a hold of your feet. Inhale engage your shoulder blades, gentle pull and exhale. This helps stretch your shoulders and upper back.

5) Child pose

Last but not least, child pose! Start in a tabletop position, feet hip width apart and slowly sink your hips to your heels. Crawl your hands in front of you if that feels good. Now this might already be quite a stretch, if you want to bring your forehead on the mat go for it, if you can’t reach no worries. Just relax your arms.

Another option if you want a deeper stretch is to bring your toes together and knees further apart. Like a “V” and sink into your hips. This will help you stretch your hips and bring you closer to the floor. Notice how this feels. And let your inhales fill you up like a balloon and exhale sinking into the mat. Bring your forehead to the mat if it feels nice, see if you can stretch you can open up your shoulders a bit. You can also be on your chin if that feels good. Play around, crawl from one side to another and linger if it feels nice.

 

So this is it! 5 seated forward folds to relief your lower back, stretch upper body and get started in yoga! 

 

What would you like to see more of? Comment below 😊

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