Mod­ify Paschi­mot­tanasana as nec­es­sary to find safe align­ment in your body.

Yoga Journal - - Practice Well -

If your ham­strings are tight or you find it dif­fi­cult to fo­cus on your breath­ing …

TRY bend­ing your knees. With your feet flexed, press your knees to­gether and bend them just un­til you’re able to grasp your feet. (If this con­nec­tion is not pos­si­ble yet, sim­ply rest your hands on your an­kles or shins.) Re­lax your neck, and bow your head to­ward your knees. Gaze at a place be­low the tip of your nose, and fo­cus on the even length, sound, and move­ment of your breath as it moves in and out of your lungs and rib cage.

If you suf­fer from chronic back pain or disc is­sues …

TRY mov­ing into the pose with a more neu­tral spine, al­low­ing an an­te­rior (for­ward) tilt in your pelvis. Es­tab­lish this type of seat by re­lax­ing your groins, mov­ing your pu­bic bones to­ward the floor, and widen­ing your sit­ting bones. Gen­tly draw in and up­ward from your pelvic floor and low belly, which will cre­ate in­ter­nal sup­port to soften grip­ping in your back mus­cles. If you still feel dis­com­fort, add a slight bend in your knees. Only go as far for­ward and down as you can with­out cre­at­ing pres­sure in your back. Grad­u­ally reach for your an­kles or feet (if it feels com­fort­able), main­tain­ing length in your spine.

If your ab­domen feels com­pressed and you find it dif­fi­cult to take full, deep breaths …

TRY sep­a­rat­ing your legs slightly (no wider than the width of your hips), and bend your knees, which will put less pres­sure on your ab­domen and di­aphragm. Main­tain the in­tegrity of the pos­ture by keep­ing your feet flexed with your knees point­ing straight up in the same di­rec­tion as your toes. Try to hold the outer edges of your feet, and re­lax your up­per back. Draw in your in­hales grad­u­ally, al­low­ing your whole rib cage to ex­pand.

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