Happy Monday everyone! Welcome to another installment of Mindful Monday here at Illuminated By U. As always, please be sure to check if your doctor before starting this or any other exercise regiment.
This Monday’s asana is standing forward fold/uttanasana commonly known as forward bend. Standing forward fold combines the benefits of forward folds for your spine as well as inversions without the need for an advanced practice. By dropping your head below your heart you begin to calm your brain, relieving stress, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, and mild depression. This can also help with insomnia and relieving physical tension in your neck and shoulders.
Begin standing with your feet hip width apart and your hands on your hip. Exhale as you bend forward at the hips creating space with your exhale to fold. As you fold lengthen the front of your torso and spine. To start, bend your elbows and hold the opposite elbow with the opposite hand to create a cradle with your arms as your allow your body to begin to warm and stretch.
Press your heels into the ground to lift your bottom towards the sky. If you are flexible enough to keep your knees straight, place your palms or fingertips on the floor or use a block or stack of books. Engage your legs as your stretch, remembering to breathe, and shifting your weight to the balls of your feet while keeping your hips aligned over your ankles. Release deeper into the pose with each breath.