Other Names

Paschimotanasana, Back-stretching Posture, seated forward bend pose, Pashchim Uttan Asan, Pashchima Uttana Asana, Paschimottana, Paschimotana, Pashchimottanasana


Literally translated as “intense stretch of the west,” Paschimottanasana can help a distracted mind unwind.

How to reach the stretch

  • From Staff Pose –┬áDandasana┬ábring the arms straight out to the sides and up over your head.
  • Inhale and draw the spine up long.
  • As you exhale, begin to come forward, hinging at the hips.
  • On each inhale, extend the spine and on each exhale come a bit further into the forward bend.
  • Keep the neck the natural extension of the spine.
  • Do not round the back.
  • Take hold of the ankles or shins, whichever you can reach.

How to release the stretch


  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
  • Stretches the spine, shoulders and hamstrings.
  • Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort.
  • Soothes headache and anxiety and reduces fatigue.
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis.
  • Traditional texts say that Paschimottanasana increases appetite, reduces obesity, and cures diseases.


  • Not for the people who have the problem of asthma and diarrhea.
  • Back injury: Only perform this pose under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

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