Yogis, particularly beginners, are often eager to rush into more advanced poses as their bodies will allow. The basics building blocks of the yoga practice are frequently forgotten in the rush for more complex and extravagant asanas. Sometimes it takes a little reminder to move back to the basics with some of the most common yoga poses.
There’s something deeply satisfying about letting your body relax and hang in the standing forward fold. Whether it’s a part of your sun salutations and warmup for more rigorous poses or a cool-down posture, this basic pose offers a host of benefits. Rewind your practice just a little bit today and explore some of the advantages of this simple posture.
Check In With the Back of the Body
If you’re looking for one simple pose that allows you to check in with all of the muscles along the back of the body, the standing forward fold is for you. You can feel this stretch all the way from the crown of the head to the heels. The leg muscles become more elastic as you spend more time moving deeper into this humble posture and allowing gravity to do the work.
If you aren’t sure how you feel on a particular day, the standing forward fold offers a great opportunity to check in.
Calm Your Nervous System
It doesn’t take a science degree to know that your nervous system is crucial to your daily functioning. The nervous system transports billions of messages throughout the body each day using the nerves along the spinal cord as a primary means of transportation. When you bend deep into a forward fold, the space between each vertebra extends and opens up. Communication can flow more smoothly throughout the body with this extra space.
It’s also said that a standing forward fold can help to calm the system, lowering your tendency to jump into fight or flight mode. If you tend to be a more anxious person and have quick reactions, the standing forward fold can give you a little more space to refresh yourself quickly.
Gain a New Perspective
It’s not uncommon to find inversions as part of a regular yoga practice. However, not all yogis have the balance or the body type to move into more advanced poses like the headstand. The standing forward fold offers a gentle and easily accessible posture that elevates the heart above the head.
You can gain the perspective of seeing things from a different angle while getting an energy boost from the blood rush to the brain. This new perspective and common side effect of the pose can help to lessen significant symptoms stemming from anxiety and depression. Next time you find yourself worried about something, dip into a quick standing forward fold for just a few minutes to see how you feel.
You’ll want to take some time today to explore the depth that this basic yoga pose can truly offer you.