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Benefit from Forward Bends

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Health practitioners tell us to do it. Numerous articles and books tell us to do it. Movie stars and TV celebrities say the same thing. We hear it from all directions … keep moving to stay healthy.

Physical fitness is one of the 5 Elements of Total Well Being that we discussed last week. We all know this intuitively. But, it’s so hard to find the time to do it. We’re all busier than ever and one more thing “to do” will push most of us over the edge.

I believe one secret to successfully staying physically active is to keep the activity short. It is far more effective to do a little bit several times a week than one massively long activity once a week. With brevity in mind, the blog theme for this month will be physical fitness, the first Element of Well Being. Each week we’ll explore yoga movement from a different direction beginning with forward bends.

So, let’s get started on forward bending.

Viniyoga believes that a strong, healthy spine is fundamental to well being so there is emphasis on moving the spine in all directions – front, back, twist and lateral (side).

The Primary Purpose of a forward bend is to stretch the low back and sacrum. Secondarily, its purpose is to stretch the rest of the back and the back of the legs.


  • Forward movement begins on exhale
  • Contract your abdominal muscles as you exhale
  • During movement, the front of your body shortens and the back lengthens


  • Keep your head neutral on your neck. Do not arch the neck (i.e. lift chin) going into or coming out of a forward bend
  • In standing forward bends, do not over arch the back when folding forward
  • Return to the starting position on inhale. Keep a slight abdominal contraction as you inhale. Do not arch your back or neck.


  1. Stretches and strengthens the back of the body
  2. Increases circulation
  3. Strengthens core muscles (Due to exhaling from the abdominal area)
  4. Calms and relaxes
  5. Counter pose for back bend, twist and lateral bend (that will make more sense next week)

Enjoy and Breathe Easy!

Joanne Thompson

Joanne Thompson

Founder/Owner at Yoga for Self

Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
Joanne Thompson

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