Why Forward Fold Isn't Just For Beginners

Erin Duffin
Why Forward Fold Isn't Just For Beginners

It's no secret. I love Forward Fold. I'm pretty much constantly Forward Fold-ing.

Sitting too long? Get up and Forward Fold. Waking up after a good night's sleep? Get up and Forward Fold. Just because? Get up and Forward Fold.

It's one of the best yoga poses, in my opinion, and definitely not just for beginners. So if you rush through your Forward Folds in Sun Salutations, take a sec to see why you should pay more attention to them.

How-To

Starting in Tadasana, or Mountain Pose, inhale the arms up above the head, sending energy through the fingers. On an exhale, swan-dive down, keeping the back flat.

If you can touch the ground, bring the fingers in line with the toes, and lengthen up through the tailbone. If you can't touch the ground, no worries! Bring the hands to the shins, instead.

Let the head hang, and chill out here.

When you're ready to come out, either reverse swan-dive up to Tadasana, or bring the hands to the hips, and inhale up with a flat back.

Physical Benefits

Forward Fold is awesome for almost every part of the body. It stimulates the internal organs, and stretches and strengthens the calves and thighs. It also improves your digestion, and relieves fatigue and anxiety. When I do Forward Fold after a long period of sitting at my desk, it also feels great on my back.

If you suffer from any of these ailments, or just want to feel better, try it out for yourself and feel the benefits.

Mental Benefits

While maybe not as awe-inducing as a Handstand, folding forward can give you some of the same yummy mental benefits, as it is an inversion, after all!

When you're in a Forward Fold, you take the time to center in and focus on yourself. What's going on in your mind? Are you taking the time in the pose to calm your mind, and focus on how your body is feeling right then?

While in this pose, you can't help but calm down. So if you're feeling stressed out, fold on down and chill here for a bit. There's not much to see besides your legs in this pose, so take the time to close your eyes and block out what's bothering you.

Following the breath in this pose is also beneficial. You might not hang out here as long as you would in a traditional meditation posture, but isn't yoga a moving meditation?

When you come out of the fold, you'll feel energized and ready to go, as well as a bit calmer, more centered, and that pesky twinge in your back might be gone, too.

Come back to the basics in your yoga practice. Practicing the basics can only benefit your practice as you grow and evolve. So the next time you're flowing in your Sun Salutations, pause a little longer in your Forward Folds and feel everything this pose has to offer!

Do you love Forward Folds? Share the benefits you've found from them in the comments below!