• Amberlyn How

Standing Forward Bend is Easy like ABCD

When your fingers are able to touch your toes in forward bend, you must be thinking, "Yeah! My spine is healthy."


Whether your fingers touching your toes or your head touching the shin, it does not matter. What matters the most is how you bend your upper body or torso to reach to your toes and bringing your head down to your shin.


Our body spine is made up of the vertebral columns: cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae together with sacrum and coccyx. When we sit, we stand, we walk or even we jump, our spine is working hard to hold the upper body strong and firm for us. By practicing folding forward, backward, side stretching and twisting, the directional movements will increase the mobility of the spine while keeping the spine stronger and healthy.


Standing Forward Bend

UTTANASANA


Standing with the feet close together or in hip-width apart is fine, as long as the body is stable to do the forward fold.

OPTION 1: Hold your waist with both hands at the sides


A - INHALE - lengthen the spine, chest up

B - EXHALE - rotate from your hip and fold forward halfway

C -INHALE - further lengthen the spine

D -EXHALE - draw the belly in, bring the belly as close as to the thighs


Fun Fact is..... Using both hands holding your waist, your thumbs can work for you by gently pressing your hips to help rotating the hips down more.

OPTION 2: Raise both arms up above the head


A - INHALE - lengthen the spine, chest up

B - EXHALE - rotate from your hip and fold forward halfway

C -INHALE - further lengthen the spine, extend the arms halfway

D -EXHALE - draw the belly in, bring the belly as close as to the thighs, palm or fingertips down or just stay wherever you are!

The reason to highlight B - EXHALE is because it is the key for a safe and good forward bend. I will always like to deliver a message, "Tell yourself, send an instruction to your brain, always bend and fold from the hips. Try to give more awareness to your back by pushing the spine into the body at lumbar area." From there, you will only be able to first rest your belly on your thigh, followed by your head to the shin.