Paschimottanasana - SoulPrajna

Paschimottanasana Definition

Paschimottanasana is a type of forward bending posture. Paschimottanasana falls under a sitting posture of asanas.

Sanskrit meaning of Paschimottanasana is an intense backstretch.

Paschima means West (Back in this case), Uttana means elongating or intense stretch. So you will bend forward to touch your head to the knees of both the legs.

Practioner Level

This is a basic level yogasana which can be performed by anyone who has just started off with yogasana.

It would take time to stretch your body to a stage where your head touches the knees of your legs. So be patient with the process.

You can use the yogasana mat suggested below and the yoga dress for your convenience.

Paschimottanasana Effects

Paschimottanasana stretches your vertebral columns, and shoulders.

It will also help strengthen your hamstrings and groin.

It’s main effect is on the back.

9 Scientific benefits of Paschimottanasana

Below are the scientific benefits of Paschimottanasana.
  • More Beneficial for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women can get highly benefited from this asana as it stretches the back and improves the stamina.
  • Sleep-related problems
Sleep related problems such as insomnia will be resolved.
  • Stress Buster
Paschimottanasana calms down the mind and gives you better clarity of mind.
  • Reduced Menstrual and menopausal disorders
As it’s effect is high in the reproductive organs, it cures the disorders related to menstrual and menopausal.
  • Soothes the Mind
Janusirsasana calms down the mind and give you a better clarity of mind.
  • Relaxes the Whole body
Since it is one of the most effective aasanas, it’s effect is on the whole body and relaxes the body.
  • Stimulate Kidneys and Liver
Paschimottanasana stimulates the kidneys and liver.
  • Stretches Hamstrings and Shoulders
Paschimottanasana helps in stretching hamstrings and shoulders too.
  • Get rid of depression
If you are in a depression, Paschimottanasana is a perfect asana for helping you come out of depression.

Preliminary Asanas

You can try doing Uttanasana, Baddha Konasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Vriksasana, Balasana, Supta Padangusthasana before doing this Paschimottanasana.

How to do the Paschimottanasana?

Here is a step by step procedure on how to do the Paschimottanasana.
  • Sit comfortably on the floor or on your yoga mat with your spine erect.
  • Open your both legs and stretch out away from the hip joint. Stretch out your legs right in front of you.
  • Comfortably press both the legs and knees to the ground so that you will be in a perfect balance and sitting erect.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly.
  • While exhaling slowly bend your belly and torso up to top your head.
  • Exhale completely and bend over to touch your head to both the knees.
  • Try to reach out for your ankles or toes.
  • Use your hands to clasp the toes or touch the knees if you are not bending fully.
  • Initial days will be tough. Take time. practice daily to reach to toes.
  • Be in that posture for a while holding your breath. Feel the energy flow from the legs to your whole back.
  • Release the pose and slowly inhale. While inhaling come back to the sitting position.
  • Stretch out your both the legs and relax for few seconds.
  • Repeat the Paschimottanasana for two more times.
  • If you are tired then stop for only one round.

Pro Tip:

If you are beginner, you can use the yoga strap and try bending forward.

Once you become perfect at it, you can slowly increase your bending length till you reach the floor.

Till then try to use the yoga strap for your convenient.

Video link for Paschimottanasana

Please do watch the below video for better clarity on the Paschimottanasana on how to perform it.

Follow-up Asanas for Paschimottanasana:

You can do Matsyendrasana after doing Paschimottanasana.

Check out the details on how to do Matsyendrasana.

Note of Caution

Please check the note of caution section before you begin your spiritual practices.


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