In hatha yoga there is an asana called “stork pose” or Padahasthasana. If you’re new to yoga or just haven’t practiced for a long time, this asana is perfect for you.
By the way, some people think that pregnant women shouldn’t practice this asana, but that’s not quite true. Contraindications to this asana are spinal injuries, muscle strains, high blood pressure, chronic diseases in the acute phase.
Next, we’ll tell you how you can modify this exercise, even for late pregnancy.
And all because the asana can be performed in a simple and in a complex version.
Let’s start with a simple one.
- Stand on the mat, put your feet shoulder width apart, tighten your buttocks, straighten your back.
- Take a breath in, start to exhale.
- As you exhale start slowly leaning your body forward.
! Watch your body at this moment: only the hip joints are bent; the legs and, most importantly, the back remain straight.
- When your body reaches the lumbar level, begin to gradually bend your back. Try to keep your stomach pressed against your hips. If you don’t have necessary stretch yet, bend your knees slightly, but in such a way that your stomach is always on your hips.
- Put your palms around your heels, and then put your palms on the floor so that the heel is between your thumb and forefinger.
! If you can’t get your heels around, try to grab your big toes with your hands. In the initial stages, the main thing is to form the correct technique, and flexibility will come after just a few classes.
- Arch your back, stretch your neck so you can look forward. Note that the flexion should start from the tailbone, not from the thoracic region and not from the shoulders.
- Again, exhale and extend your back – the slope should be deeper.
- Press your chin to your chest, try to bring your shoulder blades together as much as possible, and press your body against your legs. You should already feel the tension in your legs and back, but if you feel a strong tension in the lower back, it’s worth relaxing the load.
- If you have an opportunity to move your elbows apart, then do it. Now your pose will resemble a stork, which is why this is the name of the asana.
- Stay in the asana for a while and then slowly return to the starting position.
This is a simple variant of asana, which can be done by beginners after a few practice sessions.
An advanced variant of Padahasthasana is a continuation of the simple one. The posture is done from this position: the body is bent forward, the legs are shoulder width apart or even a little wider, and the arms follow the body. Only now you do not touch the legs with your head, and try to bring the body and shoulders behind the knees. If you have succeeded, then grab your hands on your hips. Surely you will feel a tension in your back, because your back, like the back surface of the thighs, stretches as much as possible in this pose.
Stork pose, in addition to developing flexibility and balance, helps to relax and relieve stress – it even helps those who suffer from insomnia or migraine, as well as those who suffer from liver and spleen diseases.
Be sure to remember to do Padahastasana in a stable position. Your feet should stand steadily, holding your entire body. In our video lessons you can see how to perform this asana correctly with the greatest effectiveness and safety for pregnant women.