Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) helps stimulate the nerves and muscles along the spine and is great for back pain. It also stretches the hamstrings and helps increases flexibility at the hips, helping reduce fat around the waist. In addition, the abdominal and pelvic areas receive a wonderful massage.
Seated Forward Bend – How To
1 Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched and feet together.
2 Inhale, bring your arms up, fingers pinting to the sky.
3 On an exhalation slowly bend forward from the hips and bring the hands onto your legs, allowing them to slide down towards your feet. If you can, grasp your feet or toes.
4 Try and maintain the straightness of your spine and look forward. Breathe evenly and with awareness, directing the breathe to the spine.
5 Reverse the above sequence and carefully return to the starting position.
As a variation of this, you can allow your head to move towards your knees.
If you have a slipped disc or sciatica, do not perform this asana.