In yoga, the forward bend is an extremely relaxing pose, because you stretch your back and legs. These step-by-step instructions demonstrate the forward bend. From here, you want to pick up a book, rent a video, or take a class to obtain guidance on how long to hold these poses, how often to repeat them, and how to combine them with other poses.

Start in a sitting position, with your legs out in front of you in a V, toes pointed up toward the ceiling.

Use whatever width of V is comfortable for you. Pull up on your butt so that you are resting on your pelvic bone.

Stretch your arms straight up and inhale.

Stretch your arms straight up and inhale.

Try to lengthen your spine as you stretch.

As you exhale, lean your chest forward.

As you exhale, lean your chest forward.

Keep your back straight as you lean forward.

Try to bring your chin to your shins and your chest to your thighs.

Try to bring your chin to your shins and your chest to your thighs.

Ease into the stretch and go as far as you comfortably can.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Larry Payne, PhD, is the founding president of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Named one of America's most respected yoga teachers by the Los Angeles Times, he also developed yoga programs at UCLA School of Medicine and Loyola Marymount University. Georg Feuerstein, PhD, authored over 30 books on yoga, tantra, and Hinduism. He died in 2012.

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