We received a question from our user regarding the sitting forward bend. We would like to share the response of our yoga teacher Anu Visuri with all of you.
I am (still) very stiff and in the sitting forward bend have trouble in bending forward (if at all). I am already sitting on a pillow, but my feeling is that my back is not really straight and that I am not seated comfortably. What should I pay attention to in this pose, so that I don’t cause any harm to my sacrum or back?
Great that you are already sitting on a pillow! That makes the position easier for you back. In the forward bend the back is naturally round. That is good as your back needs to know this movement too.
What is important though is that you have your spine on a long natural curve and that there is no hump in the upper back. The upper back, or the thoracic spine, is the stiffest part of our spinal column. When both the upper back and the back of the thighs are not flexible, the lower back has a lot of movement to do. That results to pressure on the lower vertebra, which can be harmful and we would like to avoid.
It doesn’t have to be a specific yoga strap, a bathrobe belt does to job as well. Place the strap around the tops of your feet, just underneath the toes. Hold with your hands at the end of the strap. Lengthen your spine. Stretch the legs as good as you can, yet pay attention that your knees stay slightly bent. Keep your front thighs strong. Press the balls of your feet against the strap and pull slightly with your hands towards yourself. At the same time press your chest against you legs and pull the shoulders back,so that your upper back becomes longer. With the time you can carefully walk your hands towards your feet while holding the strap, but take your time!
Hopefully our explanation was helpful!
You’ll find the sitting forwards bend from Gotta Joga Day Yoga Practices