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Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

Over the past few decades, yoga has been performed by people from all walks of life. Youngsters, old-aged, famous personalities, and homemakers have been undergoing yoga training. Yoga has become a multi-billion-dollar profit-making industry for many people. Yoga has been popularised in the West, and according to the statistics, about 16 million Americans perform yoga every year. Several entrepreneurs brand their style of yoga. Yoga broadly comprises asanas (postures) and pranayamas (techniques for breathing control).1 Prasarita Padottanasana is one type of yoga or asana that benefits humans. Let us look at the health benefits of prasarita padottanasana. 

What is Prasarita Padottanasana? 

Prasarita padottanasana is also known as the wide-legged standing forward bend pose. In English, prasarita means outstretched, pada means foot, ut means intense, tan means to extend or stretch, and asana means posture. This asana is beginner-intermediate level asana. Happy baby pose (Ananda Balasana), standing forward band (Uttanasana), standing backwards bend (Ardha Chakrasana), and downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Savasana) are some of the preparatory poses for Prasarita padottanasana.2 

Prasarita Padottanasana

How to Do it? 

You can do Prasarita padottanasana in the following way: 

  • First, stand in tadasana and keep a 3-4 feet distance between your legs. 
  • Make sure that your feet are parallel to each other. Your toes can be pointing internally, creating pigeon toes. 
  • Lift the arms to your sides parallel to the floor when inhaling. 
  • Take a deep breath and bend your torso forward from your hip joints, keeping your spine straight. 
  • Keep your hands on the floor under your shoulders when your torso is parallel to the ground. 
  • As you exhale, lift your hips and bend to bring your head towards the floor, between your hands. 
  • Work your quadriceps by engaging your thighs. 
  • To make the bend deeper, lightly press your hands on the floor. Extend your arms to the sides on an inhale and slowly lift your torso while maintaining a flat back. If your hands reach the feet, grab your big toes, and pull on them to get a deeper bend. 
  • Return to Tadasana by lowering your arms back to your sides on an exhalation.2 

Based on my experience, I have observed that practicing Prasarita Padottanasana along with other yoga asanas may be beneficial for women with chronic pelvic pain (CPP) in managing their pain and improving their quality of life and sexual function. This yoga pose, when taught and practiced correctly, helps increase body awareness, release tension in the pelvic area, and promote relaxation.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Do You Know? 

Some of the interesting facts related to prasarita padottanasana are as follows: 

  • Prasarita padottanasana is often used as a cool-down pose. 
  • Prasarita padottanasana is described in Yoga Makaranda and Yogasanagalu by Krishnamacharya in the 20th century and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga by Pattabhi Jois and Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar. 

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana: 

Some of the potential benefits of prasarita padottanasana are as follows: 

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana for Lower Back Pain: 

A study by Williams et al. in 2009 showed that a yoga protocol consisting of prasarita padottanasana might help to reduce lower back pain. The result of the study suggested that regular training of prasarita padottanasana may reduce pain intensity and may improve functional ability.3 However, more studies are required to check if prasarita padottanasana can help to reduce lower back pain. If you experience lower back pain for a prolonged period, you must consult your doctor. 

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana for Muscle Flexibility: 

A study by Ganga et al. in 2018 showed that a yoga protocol consisting of prasarita padottanasana and other asanas might help improve muscle strength and flexibility in women.4 However, further studies are required to check if prasarita padottanasana shows the same results as mentioned. Perform this asana under a proper yoga trainer.  

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana for Cancer: 

A study by Kiecolt-Glaser et al. in 2014 showed that a yoga protocol consisting of prasarita padottanasana might benefit breast cancer survivors. The yoga protocol may reduce fatigue and inflammation by decreasing the inflammatory mediators (molecules in the body that cause inflammation).5 However, further studies are required to check if Prasarita padottanasana may benefit breast cancer survivors. You must consult your doctor if you suspect any abnormality of cancer treatment. 

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana for Digestive Disorders: 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive disorder affecting the stomach and the intestine. A study by Evans et al. in 2014 showed that a yoga protocol consisting of prasarita padottanasana might help in the case of irritable bowel syndrome. Prasarita padottanasana may reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and relieve the pain caused in the abdomen.6 However, further studies are required to check if prasarita padottanasana can help reduce irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you suspect any symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. 

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana for Mental Well-being: 

Prasarita padottanasana may help to attain a state of balance and harmony. It may help to get rid of all the negative and unwanted thoughts.7 However, further research is required to determine if prasarita padottanasana can help with mental well-being. 

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana for Headache and Insomnia: 

Prasarita padottanasana may help to reduce headaches and get rid of insomnia. Insomnia is a common sleeping disorder (hard to sleep).7 However, further research is required to check if prasarita padottanasana can help to reduce headaches and insomnia. 

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana for Improving Posture: 

Prasarita padottanasana may help to improve posture. Prasarita padottanasana may stretch and strengthen the spinal column and correct the posture. Regular practice of this pose may tone the abdomen, erect the body, and elongate the spine.7 However, further research is required to check if prasarita padottanasana can help to correct the posture. 

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana for Diabetes: 

Performing prasarita padottanasana regularly may help in managing diabetes. It may control blood sugar levels.7 However, further studies are required to confirm if prasarita padottanasana may be beneficial in the case of diabetes. Therefore, you must check your blood sugar levels regularly and consult your doctor in case of high blood sugar levels. 

Over the years, I have observed that incorporating Prasarita Padottanasana into your routine may provide a safe and effective intervention for reducing symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). It can help improve sleep quality, enhance mood, reduce stress levels, and alleviate the severity of RLS symptoms. The stretching and relaxation techniques involved in Prasarita Padottanasana might be largely responsible for this.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Risks of Prasarita Padottanasana 

The following risks may be associated with prasarita padottanasana: 

  • People with lower back pain shall be careful before doing prasarita padottanasana.2 
  • People with knee injuries shall refrain from doing this pose.2 

With the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher, we can assess risk factors and continue to practice prasarita padottanasana with precautions. 

Conclusion 

Prasarita padottanasana is also known as the wide-legged forward bend pose. In English, prasarita means outstretched, pada means foot, ut means intense, tan means to extend or stretch, and asana means posture. Prasarita padottanasana may reduce lower back pain, improve posture and muscle flexibility and activate the energy point. This might also be beneficial in the case of cancer, managing weight, and digestive disorders. Prasarita padottanasana may help to manage stress and improve mental well-being. People with eye and ear problems shall be careful before doing prasarita padottanasana. People with high blood pressure and back injuries should be cautious before doing prasarita padottanasana. You must do prasarita padottanasana under the guidance of a trained yoga professional. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) What are prasarita padottanasana benefits? 

Prasarita padottanasana may reduce lower back pain, improve posture and muscle flexibility and activate the energy point. It may also be beneficial in managing weight and digestive disorders. Prasarita padottanasana may reduce fatigue and inflammation in breast cancer survivors. Prasarita padottanasana may help to manage stress and improve mental well-being.3-9 

2) What are the preparatory poses of wide-legged forward bed yoga? 

Happy baby pose (Ardha balasana), standing forward band, standing backward bend (Ardha chakrasana), and downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha savasana) are some of the preparatory poses for prasarita padottanasana.2 

3) What are the risks associated with prasarita padottanasana? 

People with lower back pain and knee injury should be cautious before doing prasarita padottanasana.2 You must do prasarita padottanasana under the guidance of a trained yoga professional. 

4) How does prasarita padottanasana help with mental well-being? 

Prasarita padottanasana may help combat loneliness, fear, sadness, and betrayal. It may help with emotional grounding and stability, standing up for oneself, calming stress, and reducing anxiety. It helps to accept oneself and become compassionate. Additionally, prasarita padottanasana may help to increase self-power and self-worth. 

5) Which yoga pose is called wide-legged forward yoga? 

Prasarita padottanasana is also known as the wide-legged standing forward bend pose. In English, prasarita means outstretched, pada means foot, ut means intense, tan means to extend or stretch, and asana means posture. 

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided primarily for educational reasons and is not meant to replace professional medical care. The reader should speak with their doctor to see whether the information is appropriate for their circumstances because everyone has diverse needs. 

References: 

  1. White DG. Yoga, brief history of an idea. Yoga in practice. 2012;5(1):1-23. Available from: http://whitelotus.m4interactive.com/sites/default/files/articles/history-and-evolution-of-yoga-by-david-g-white-phd_0.pdf 
  1. Wide-legged forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana) [Internet]. Art Of Living (United States). The Art of Living; 2020 [cited 2022Dec26]. Available from: https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/wide-legged-forward-bend-prasarita-padottanasana 
  1. Williams K, Abildso C, Steinberg L, Doyle E, Epstein B, Smith D, Hobbs G, Gross R, Kelley G, Cooper L. Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficacy of Iyengar yoga therapy on chronic low back pain. Spine. 2009 Sep 1;34(19):2066. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19701112/ 
  1. Ganga M. Effects of hatha yoga practice on selected health-related aspects of physical fitness among middle age women. Available from: https://www.journalofsports.com/pdf/2019/vol4issue1/PartAB/5-1-85-950.pdf 
  1. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Bennett JM, Andridge R, Peng J, Shapiro CL, Malarkey WB, Emery CF, Layman R, Mrozek EE, Glaser R. Yoga’s impact on inflammation, mood, and fatigue in breast cancer survivors: a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Clinical oncology. 2014 Apr 1;32(10):1040. Available from: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?output=instlink&q=info:LbMiGtQbynAJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&scillfp=4204543182088043072&oi=lle 
  1. Evans S, Lung KC, Seidman LC, Sternlieb B, Zeltzer LK, Tsao JC. Iyengar yoga for adolescents and young adults with irritable bowel syndrome. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. 2014 Aug;59(2):244. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4146428/ 
  1. Top 7 health benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana [Internet]. Rishikul Yogshala. 2019 [cited 2022Dec26]. Available from: https://www.rishikulyogshala.org/top-7-health-benefits-of-prasarita-padottanasana/ 

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