if, like me, you wonder how these yoga practitioners manage to bend and extend flat upon their legs into uttanasana, here is a good way to achieve it!
A variation of the full standing forward bend using a yoga chair.
People often feel yoga props are only for beginners... Nevertheless, they play an important role in helping yoga practitioners of all levels make huge progress.
The chair allows to stretch the upper body and open the shoulders. Providing adequate support, your hamstrings can relax and start lengthening.
As a result, practicing this variation of the forward bend will create the legs and back extension needed to nicely achieve the full pose.
Start off with your wrists resting on the back of the chair. Your legs are in a right angle with the floor, hip distance apart.
If this feels comfortable, bend down and rest your forehead on the chair seat (you can use a blanket if this is too low). Your back should still be straight as you lower your upper body. Otherwise, return to the previous pose. Remember to keep your legs active and straight.
You can further improve your uttanasana using a folded chair as shown below. This helps flatten and extend your upper back.
Another great prop to use in this pose, is the wall. As you move your upper body closer to the legs, you might find it difficult to keep a straight back (especially the upper part). The wall will help you achieve it.
Start by standing facing the wall, the distance separating you from it will depend on your flexibility. Bend your knees, tilt your body to one side to bend down to uttanasana. Then slowly stretch your legs. You can walk closer the the wall if needed (or as your body eases into the posture).
Get your yoga accessories online here.