Deep Forward Bends – Uttanasana Yoga Tutorial. Standing Forward Bend. Iyengar Yoga for Beginners

“Hi, I’m Lin.” “And I’m Leo. Welcome to ‘Yoga
with Lin and Leo’.” “Yes, and hopefully you’re on your mat for Uttanasana. So we’ve practiced
Uttanasana many, many times in all of our sequences but we’re going to add a few props
to help assist the action. But also to make it a little bit more intense. So Leo’s going
to go through the props here.” “Okay so we’ve just got two yoga bricks, if you don’t have
yoga bricks then you can get books, but they have to be the same depth. And a couple of
yoga pads. If you don’t have yoga pads, you can always take your hands to the seat of
a chair.” “Okay, so if you’ve just joined us and this is the first time you’ve watched
one of our videos, then welcome. And Uttanasana we will show you the shape of it first. So
Leo’s just going to show the action with the feet together, lifting up through the centre
of the body and hinging at the hip. So there’s a lot more to this than just hinging at the
hip. So just demonstrating the action, hinging forward from the straight arms and extending
forward into this action. Okay, so some of you may not be familiar with Uttanasana or
may find it really, really challenging to come into this action straight away. Of course,
it’s an extreme pose. Taking a breath in and coming up. So today we’re going to give you
a little bit of instruction on this. So firstly, when you take your arms up, into Urdhva Hastasana,
in this position – you can join in with us – you have to see that your arms are active.
Because what your arms give you is this length in the abdomen. So of course, the legs are
working very strongly, the weight is back into the heels, but also we’ve added this
dimension of extension through the whole of the body. So we have to push right up into
the edges of the body, to the tips of the fingers so that the yoga can become fluid
throughout the whole of the body. Now the key thing is to come into an action where
you keep this really nice and long. So this is where the chest comes into play, and the
back body. So release the shoulder blades down and see that they move deep in towards
the chest side. And then hinge over into half Uttanasana. You see, keeping that action.
Now reach those fingers as if you’re reaching to a wall. Extend. The thighs might go back
a little bit at this stage. And then extend your hands down towards the floor. Now just
come into this action, where the arms are underneath the shoulders. And see that these,
this area here, the shoulder blades are moving so deeply in, in. So we have to see that we
support the whole of the upper body in this way. And keeping that length throughout the
whole of the front extension. Now if it’s very challenging to take the hands to the
floor, as you know, yoga bricks are very helpful, or two books the same size. So this is one
of the ways you can work really so well with the leg action, with the extension and then
coming up out of the pose. So we’re not coming into the full action as such. And then releasing
the arms down. Okay, so we’re going to add a new dimension to this action now. So Leo’s
going to get her bricks and place them to the mat.” “Do you want them together?” “Um,
Yes!” “She’s challenging me today!” [Laughter] “So the feet are together. I’m just going
to place these here because if you’ve got four bricks, then fine, but you know, a lot
of people have two in their kit bag so I’ve just put some foam pads here so that it gives
a little bit of extra space for you to take your hands down onto. So now, working from
the bricks, teaches the legs how to work, and what’s really key about this, is that the
more length you get from lifting those kneecaps, lifting those frontal thighs, the more you
will start to become more engaged with the lower abdominal action. It’s almost as if,
inside this waist area, you have imaginary legs. Because they go all
the way through the leg, all the way up towards the ribs. So with that in mind, we have to
keep so much extension, so much length. So put your hands onto your hip flexors now and
hinge forward. Keeping all of those actions, keeping those shoulder blades deeply in. And
being in that position. Now don’t go any further than this. Or even half way. Because otherwise,
sometimes the spine will start to buckle under that action. So taking the hands down, either
to your foam pads, or to the floor. So the action is downwards, but I don’t want you
to think about down. I want you to think about lift. So through those front legs, through
the hip flexors, through the lower abdomen. You have to lift right up, so that you make
space for your spine. And from there, you keep that action, you keep that lift in your
lower abdomen, that lift through the front thighs. And if you are able to, you take your
hands a little further back. But with all of these actions, you have to check, because
when you go that step further, you may lose the previous step. So we have to just see
that we take it slowly, but keep your practice, continuous, regular and keep the integrity
in your poses. So this is a way you can intensify your Uttanasana action. And you can be in
this pose for a little while, just working on those points. To come out of the action,
then walking those fingers further forward. Initiate that lift again through the abdomen,
front thigh region. And this area, this dorsal spine needs to move in so strongly. Look forward
and then coming up. And extending up. Okay. And that’s our tutorial on Uttanasana.” “I
hope you enjoyed that. It’s quite a strong action! And remember, if you’re not quite
at this stage, don’t worry. You just work at the intermediate stage, with the feet slightly
further apart, working onto bricks and eventually, it does come.’ “Yes. [Laughter] We look forward
to seeing you again soon.” “Namaste.” “Namaste.”