Yoga Lesson: Wide-Legged Forward Bend

Fight the blues with this energizing asana.

Yoga Lesson: Wide-Legged Forward Bend
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Mild depression can be draining-people who suffer from it are often plagued by negative thoughts and low energy. But instead of crawling into bed, try this yoga pose to get you on your feet and ease fatigue.


Wide-Legged Forward Bend

  1. Stand with your feet 3 to 4 feet apart and rest your hands on your hips. Inhale and lift your chest.
  2. Exhale and lean forward from the hips, keeping your back straight. Continue leaning forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Then straighten your arms and press your fingertips to the floor directly below your shoulders. (If you can't comfortably reach the floor, you can place your hands on blocks instead or bend your knees.) Bring your head up, gaze toward the ceiling, and take a few breaths.
  3. Walk your fingertips back (or adjust the blocks) until they're between your feet. Take a few more breaths and then, while exhaling, bend your elbows and fold your body down into a full forward bend. If possible, rest the top of your head on the floor-otherwise, rest it on a bolster, folded blanket, or another block. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor, and your upper arms should be parallel to the floor. Press your palms into the floor (or blocks) with your fingers pointed forward. Draw your shoulders away from your ears and breathe-stay in the pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. To come out of the pose, straighten your arms and slowly lift your torso until it's parallel to the floor. Inhale, rest your hands on your hips, and return to standing.