Paschimottanasana is also known as seated forward bend or fold. This posture is great to increase the flexibility of your hamstrings and calves. It also stretches your lower back and calms the mind. Paschimottanasana can be practiced by all levels of practitioners. Below, you will find some useful tips about the use of props to increase the benefit of the pose.

Before practicing Paschimottanasana, we recommend adding a little warm-up, called Pawanmuktasana in Hatha Yoga. Include simple rotations and movements of your joints and muscles to increase flexibility and remove stiffness. This helps you to get into the postures easier and deeper.

Read the Step By Step Instructions for Paschimottanasana:

  1. Sit on your mat in Dhandhasana
  2. Close your legs together and activate your knee caps
  3. Your toes should point towards the ceiling
  4. Straighten your spine
  5. Inhale deeply and bring your arms up
  6. Exhale and fold forward
  7. Bring your chest onto your thighs
  8. Catch your feet with your hands
  9. You can interlock your hands behind your feet or grab your ankles
  10. Maintain your legs straight
  11. Don’t bend your knees
  12. Try to rest your forehead on your shins/knees
  13. Take a few deep breaths here

You can make this posture a little more dynamic as well. As you inhale bring your upper body up and stretch your arms up towards the ceiling. As you exhale bend forward and rest in the final pose. Use your breath for this up and down movement and continue it for 10 to 15 breaths.

The Use of Props and Alignment in Paschimottanasana:

Using props such as belts, blocks, bolsters, and walls can increase the benefit of a posture. Experienced yoga teachers always use props to modify postures and make them suitable for everyone. In Paschimottanasana, you can either use a strap or block. If you are a beginner, place the strap around your foot. As you inhale and open your chest, activate your knee cap, pull it back and keep the leg straight. Now exhale and fold forward from your hips. Gently pull on your strap to get further down. Try to rest your nose on your shin.

For Experienced and more advanced yogis: Place the block onto the sole of your foot. Instead of interlocking your fingers behind your foot, try to grab the block or even interlock your fingers behind the block for the maximum stretch of your back and hamstrings.

Benefits of Paschimottanasana:

  • Improves flexibility in legs and back
  • Stretches the back
  • Tones the abdomen
  • Massages the internal organs
  • Improves digestion
  • Removes constipation




Please avoid this posture if you have any lower back injuries.


To be sure that you practice an asana correctly, we recommend participating in our Yoga Teacher Training Program.

18 Responses

  1. Hi I want join your yoga teacher training but I am not doing yoga very much. But I really want learn yoga with you guys. Please can you make for me early bird discount for August.sorry I not have seen before your Yoga website it’s looking me very interesting. Thank you

    1. Namaste Karin Ji
      Thanks for your message and post!
      You are welcome to join our Yoga Teacher Training in India 🙂 As a beginner, we recommend our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in India. The next available one will start on the first of August 2018 at 7am. We are running a early bird discount for all bookings for August so you can receive our 400 $ discount for booking this week 🙂
      We just sent you an e-mail with all infos and booking link.
      A Yoga Teacher Training in India is a great way of learning all about yoga, growing personally and experiencing bliss and transformation.
      We hope to meet you soon!!
      Much love,
      Your Yoga India Foundation Team

  2. Hi I like your blog so knowledgeble you are posting. I am very interesting. To join your yoga teacher training but I not have spoken very good English. Are is problem for me?and which month is suteble for me

    1. Namaste Divine
      Thanks for your comment! 🙂 Don’t worry about your English, its fine! You are very welcome to join our Yoga Teacher Training in India. At Yoga India Foundation we aim to provide a happy, peaceful and inspirational site for learning yoga and expanding ones practise.
      It’s not a problem if English is your second or third language. For most of our students english is the second language.
      Our next available 200 Hour Yoga teacher training will start on the first of July 2018 at 7am. The course after that will start in the first of August 2018.
      We are sending you an e-mail with some more Infos regarding course, accommodation and transfers.

      We hoep to meet you soon!

  3. hi I like to style of teaching I am very empressed what you are given knowledge. Thanks lot of

    1. Namaste Irina
      we hope you are well! thanks for your comment. If you like our posts, please come and visit us in india some time!
      Soon we will celebrate International Yoga Day in Rishikesh.
      We also invite you to join our Yoga teacher training in india!
      YOu can also visit our fb and instagram page: Yoga India Foundation & yoga_india_foundation

      Om Shanti
      Your Yoga India Foundation Team

  4. I love the classes in yoga teacher training in India.i will miss always grop and teachers food.

    1. Hari Om Amanda ji
      We also enjoy having your on our Yoga Teacher Training so much! We always aim to create a loving and happy atmosphere. We are very pleased to see that you like it.
      Om Shanti
      Your Yoga India Foundation Team

  5. Haaaahaaa nice time during the Yoga teacher training .in India my dream country I always want live

    1. Hello Masoon 🙂
      India is a very happy place indeed. We are glad that you like it!
      Thanks for visiting us and being part of the Yoga Teacher Training Program 2018. We truly enjoyed your presence and hope to meet you again soon!
      Please join our 300 Hours Yoga TTC in India as well!
      Om Shanti
      Your Yoga India Foundation Team

  6. I missed my time in yoga teacher training any time come in Switzerland any friends welcome in my home.

    1. Hi Lucy
      Thanks for your lovely comment! Thanks for joining our Yoga Teacher Training in India!
      It was very nice to have you here and watch you blossom!
      We will surely connect you with some graduates in Switzerland so you can share your experience :)Please visit us again!!
      We miss you too & wish you all the best
      Hari Om
      Your Yoga India Foundation team

  7. I have joined yoga teacher training in December that’s time we have very small group we learn lots teacher are amazing thanks

    1. Dear Mareo
      Our Yoga Teacher Training in December last year was soo nice! A lovely small group with many precious and fun moments! Thanks for coming to learn yoga in india!

      We hope to meet you again!
      Love and Light
      Your Yoga India Foundation team

  8. I did my yoga teacher training in January that also have small groups weather is also vary good not cold. I enjoyed my time

    1. Namaste dear
      It was really great to meet you in January and get to know you during your Yoga teacher training in india!
      we hope that you are having a good time at home and teaching well! Always great to hear from you!
      Many greetings from rishikesh,
      Your Yoga India Foundation Team

  9. I did my yoga teacher training in Yoga India Foundation
    That was the most amazing time for me I will recommend everyone who wants join yoga teacher training in India

    1. Hello Priya, thank you for your lovely comment! We are so happy to read and feel that you enjoyed your yoga teacher training with us at yoga india foundation. Our goal is to make our students feel this way 🙂
      Love Your Yoga India Foundation Team

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