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Week 1 Alignment Series: Forward Bends

Due to the โ€œ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆโ€ย of modern-day yoga, forward bends are often overlooked in our practice.ย 

To have a well-balanced body, we need a well-balanced practice that includes forward bends which provides the opportunities toย 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Turn Inwards and slow down

๐Ÿ‘‰ Get quiet and release emotional tension

๐Ÿ‘‰ Release tension (especially from our back body)

The biggest resistance in forward bends areย 

โ–ช๏ธ Hamstrings

โ–ช๏ธ Calves

โ–ช๏ธ Hips

โ–ช๏ธ Backย 

The resistance is challenging enough as we try to cultivate calmness in these poses with our tight hamstrings, hips, and back.ย 

With patience and regular practice, the resistance will ease, and forward bends can become very healing and calming.ย 

The KEY ALIGNMENT and ACTION in Forward bends are to LENGTHEN THE SPINE.ย 

Here are some primary actions that allow you to maximize depth and minimize strain in forward folds:

1๏ธโƒฃย ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ธ

All forward bends require us to lengthen our lower back and to do so, our spine needs something to lengthen from.ย 

By moving the top of the thigh bones back, it creates a reference point for the spine to lengthen forward.ย 

2๏ธโƒฃย ๐—Ÿ๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€ย 

It decreases the risk of over rounding and overstretching the lower back and at the same time creates deeper stretch for the legs and hips.ย 

3๏ธโƒฃย ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑย ย 

We are flexing our hips which means we are moving the pelvis forward over the thighs.ย We need to maximize pelvis flexion to prevent the lower back from rounding as we bend forward.ย 

4๏ธโƒฃย ๐—™๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐˜€ย 

When we think of holding from the hip crease and the groins, we bring more attention to the front side of the body.ย 

The actions of moving the thighs back and pelvis forward create a greater hinge movement and increase the depth of the posture.ย 

5๏ธโƒฃย ๐—ฆ๐—ผ๐—ณ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€

Relax your muscles and soften your internal organs and senses to relax to go deeper.ย 

Forward folds are meant to allow us to turn inwards and decrease the number of stimulations, as you release the tension and soften into the poses, you can go deeper yet in a more relaxed way.ย 

๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ.๐Ÿคฉ

๐——๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ปย is more important than speed.

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