Enquiries Into Yogic Philosophy

Prasarita Padottanasana – Wide Legged Forward Fold

March 12, 2020

Prasarita means expanded, spread, extended.  Pada means a foot.  The pose is one where the expanded legs are stretched intensely.  (Light on Yoga, p 81)

Are you unable to do the Sirsasana?  But still want the benefits?  Well, this pose is for you!

It helps to:

  • Stretch the hamstrings, calves, glutes and lower back.
  • Gently open up tight hips, thereby helping to increase hip mobility.
  • Improve posture.
  • Relieve fatigue.
  • Strengthen the feet, improving flat foot.
  • Speed up healing.



Avoid practicing the prasarita padottanasana when you have a headache or migraine.  The rush of blood to the head may exacerbate the condition.


Busting the Myths

Widening the distance between your feet will not help you in getting your head closer to the floor.  This just makes your stance unstable.  Read on for some practice pointers…

Practice Pointers

  • The body weight should never rest on the head.
  • Many students compromise on the straightness of the legs in an attempt to bend down more.  Instead of focusing on the head reaching the floor, focus on extending the torso forward.
  • As with Uttanasana, rest your head on a block or a chair to enable further extension.


Incidentally, I wrote about the adho mukha svanasana a few weeks ago.  Check out the blog, it may shed more light.

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