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Forward Bends Sequence

This sequence builds on and consolidates the simple forward bend sequence.

Contents

Introduction

Consolidating and adding to basic beginner forward bends, this sequence helps teaches you to lift the spine out of the hips and keep the legs engaged as foundation for more forward bends.

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Supta Baddhakonasana
Supta Baddha Konasana
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
5 minutes
Join your feet together, your heels pressed to your pelvis. Lie back over a bolster or other form of support. Relax and let your chest open. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Simple Cross Legs Forward
Simple Cross Legs Forward
1 minute per side
Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your sit-bones pointing down as you stretch your arms forward to capacity, lengthening your spine.
Uttanasana
Uttanasana
Standing Forward Bend
1 minute
Starting in Tadasana, exhale and reach down towards your feet. Let your spine release downwards. You can bend your knees or place your hands on blocks if you lack the necessary flexibility.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
45-60 seconds
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body while lifting your hips up as high off the ground as possible. If necessary, bend your knees a little but stay strong in the legs.
Headstand Preparation with Blocks
Sirsasana Preparation
Headstand Preparation
5-6 breaths
Place your forearms flat on the floor next to a wall and interlock your fingers behind the back of your skull. Keeping your head on the floor and your back straight, start to walk your feet closer toward your trunk. Straighten your back and pull your hips up to capacity. This can also be done with your feet to the wall.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Handstand
2 minutes
Open your hands into the floor and strengthen your arms as you lift your body up, one leg at a time, into an inverted balance. Use the wall for support if necessary. If pushing yourself up proves to be too difficult, you can walk your feet up the wall.
Virasana Forward
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
1 minute
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Parvatasana in Virasana
Parvatasana in Virasana
Mountain Pose in Hero Pose
5-6 breaths
Sit in Virasana, stretch your arms in front of you, and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms outward and, keeping your shoulders open and ribs in neutral, extend your arms upward.
Dandasana
Dandasana
Staff Pose
30 seconds
Point your sit-bones down and extend upwards through the crown of your head. Use support under your buttocks or bend knees if needed to get your back straight.
Baddha Konasana
Baddha Konasana
Bound Angle Pose
1 minute
Bring your feet as close as possible to your pelvis and join them together. Straighten your back and let gravity pull your knees down toward the floor. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Dandasana
Dandasana
Staff Pose
30 seconds
Point your sit-bones down and extend upwards through the crown of your head. Use support under your buttocks or bend knees if needed to get your back straight.
Upavistha Konasana
Upavistha Konasana
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
1 minute
Use support under buttocks if your inner groins roll backward. Kneecaps and all ten toes face the ceiling. Keep your hands by your by hips, fingers pointing forwards. Lengthen your spine. Once you have mastered these foundations, you can also bend forward while reaching your feet with your hands. Use a belt if necessary.
Dandasana
Dandasana
Staff Pose
10 seconds
Point your sit-bones down and extend upwards through the crown of your head. Use support under your buttocks or bend knees if needed to get your back straight.
Janu Sirsasana
Janu Sirsasana
Head-to-Knee Forward Bend
45-60 seconds each side
Bend your knee out to the side and keep your sit-bones pointing downward as you stretch out over your extended leg. Use a belt if necessary.
Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana
Triang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana
Three-Limbed Forward Bend
45-60 seconds each side
Bend your left knee so your foot points straight back as you extend your right leg forward. Release your spine as you reach out to grab a hold of your extended foot. Use a belt if necessary. Repeat on both sides.
Forward Bends Sequence
Paschimottanasana (Concave Spine Looking Up)
Seated Forward Bend with Concave Spine Looking Up
1 minute
Start in Dandasana. Bend over your legs as far as you can without rounding your back. As you breathe try to increase your range of motion. Use a belt if necessary.
Simple Cross Legs Twist
Simple Cross Legs Twist
4-5 breaths per side
Sit with your legs crossed and back straight. Place your hand onto the opposing knee and, staying tall through the crown of your head, look over your shoulder as you twist.
Bharadvajasana I
Bharadvajasana
Bharadvaja's Twist
4 breaths each side
Bring your legs to one side. Place one hand on the knee - this will help you deepen the twist. The other hand can be placed on the floor, helping you twist even deeper. Alternatively, you can bring it behind your back until it joins the elbow of the other arm. Stretch upwards through the crown of your head.
Sarvangasana
Salamba Sarvangasana
Shoulderstand
5-6 minutes
Activate your arms and shoulders as you lift your body up perpendicular to the floor. Use blankets or bolsters to support your shoulders. Make sure the back of your neck stays relaxed and maintains its natural curve.
Halasana
Halasana
Plough Pose
2-3 minutes
Use support under your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders open, lift your hips up high above your head, dropping your feet down behind you. Place your hands on your back to help keep it from rounding.
Simple Cross Legs Forward
Simple Cross Legs Forward
45 seconds each side
Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your sit-bones pointing down as you stretch your arms forward to capacity, lengthening your spine.
Savasana
Savasana
Corpse Pose
5 minutes
Lie down on the floor. Spread your arms and legs slightly at your side. Relax and concentrate on your breath.