Position 10 – Uttanasana (complete forward bend)
From ashwa sanchalanasana bring your head down towards the knees as you step the back foot (right or left) forward to join the other foot. Palms placed on the ground on either sides of your feet.This is uttanasana, sometimes referred to as padahastasana. The movement is done on an exhale. Though position 9 to 10 just seem as a reversal in movement from position 3 to 4, only the postures are the same but not the process, nor the sequence of movements, nor the state of your mind. Here you are moving in from an open to closed position, the breath is from inhale to exhale and the mind is more inward oriented, deepening from the physical (asana) to the mental/emotional (pranayama) and the withdrawal of the senses towards the inner environment (pratyahara.)
As before, the focus is on the swadishtana chakra, the hara centre.
Points of interest:
If the back of the thighs, the hamstrings or the upper back is feeling stiff, allow your knees top ‘give’ a little to relax the stiffness. Hold your ankles or chin bones. Use the breath to deepen the posture. As you exhale take your abdomen in and up into a kind of a natural uddiyana bandha. Helps to strengthen the abdominals and intensify the forward stretch.But before you inhale into the next posture remember to relax your abdomen. It will be much easier for the diaphgram to allow expansion if the abdominal muscles are relaxed.
Also, when you step the foot forward to join the other foot, maintain a small distance between the two feet. This will help you to distribute your weight equally on both your feet and lend stability for you to move into the next position.
Dont bounce the body to enable you to touch the ground! Work with the breath and flow with the movement for the desired results to occur. Simply enjoy the deep stretch from your heels, calves, hamstrings, lowerback, spine and your full arms. And remember, with each repetition of the sun salutation, your body will be more relaxed and flexible.
Do not be in a hurry to reach an imagined perfect posture. You will only hurt yourself and delay your progress.
Touch the earth with reverence. Feel your connection to the feminine energy expressed in the exhale breath.
Yoga is all about unravelling the mystery of who you are! Enjoy the inward journey;linger here and there to savour the changing scenes being painted on your inner canvas. Experience the awe of your radiance.
The chant: om hraim savitre namaha-
salutations to Him who is beneficent; who produces everything.