Hatha Yoga Pose

Best Hatha Yoga Pose for Spontaneous Healing

Hatha Yoga Pose for Health & Healing

Kundalini Yoga Posture for Self Healing

If you decide that you are going to do just one hatha yoga pose a day, I would tell you to choose this one.  It is called Paschimothan Asana, or simply The Forward Bend.  This terrific posture also goes by some other names, such as Seated Head to Toe Pose and Back Stretching Pose. 

This pose is also a key component of kundalini yoga and according to kundalini Yoga, it is a fundamental stretch that you should perform every single day.  As this pose is part of both hatha yoga and kundalini yoga, it is part of both e-books, Free Online Hatha Yoga Poses Galleries and the Free Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses E-Book.

In hatha yoga, this yoga asana can be categorized as both, a forward bending posture or a seated posture.

The reason why this pose is so highly recommended, is because when it comes to healing and longevity, no other posture is as effective.  Spontaneous healing, miraculous healing, conscious healing have all been attributed to doing Paschimothan Asana.  And, as if that was not enough, this pose also has other important health benefits, which are detailed below the illustration.

Hatha Yoga Pose

Thanks to my wife Trupti for the following fine illustration of Back Stretching Pose.  Yes, I managed to tear her away briefly from the children to help with the blog again.  You will find her singing contribution in the article, The Greatest Vedic Devotional Mantra, and below I got her to put her artistic skills to good use as well… in exchange, of course, for doing innumerable house hold chores and changing dirty diapers… so I hope you all appreciate the effort here :-D.

Back Stretching Pose for Health & Healing

Picture of Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose


Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose Practice Details:

a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

  • Sit with both legs extended straight in front of you.
  • Make sure the legs are parallel and feet pointing straight up.
  • Reach forward with your hands and hold onto your legs as low as possible without bending the knees.
  • If you can hold your toes that’s great, if not, arch them back towards you while holding your shins, knees or thighs.  This will ensure you are stretching the calves and nerves.
  • As you reach towards your feet, ensure you are bending from the waist and try to keep the back as straight as possible.  Try to bring the forehead to the knees if possible. 

b. Duration for Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

  • 1 minute – 5 minutes.

c. Benefits of Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

  • Excellent yoga pose to promote natural and spontaneous healing.
  • Bestows health and longevity.
  • Expands your entire nervous system, especially stretching the sciatic nerve, whose length, according to kundalini yoga, is directly related to the length of your life.
  • The asana also promotes flexibility and strength in the hamstrings and calves.
  • The pose stretches the entire back, with emphasis on the lumbar spine.
  • Excellent posture to tone and rejuvenate the entire digestive system and all the important digestive organs.  The liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, intestines, stomach all benefit from this pose.
  • Helps fight obesity.
  • Helps dissolve blockages that run along the shushumna (primary psychic channel for the flow of prana and kundalini.  For more on this topic, see Kundalini Seven Chakra System Overview).


d. Practice Tips for Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

  • Do not strain excessively when doing this stretch.  When doing the pose, start off stretching gently and as your body gets warmed up, extend the stretch further.
  • Try not to hunch over as much, instead try to concentrate of bending forward from the hips.
  • As a variation to holding your toes, you can instead hold your big toes only and pull back on them.
  • It is MUCH more important to keep your legs straight, than it is to reach your toes.
  • Try to keep the back as straight as possible.
  • As an additional chakra breathing meditation for this pose, as you inhale feel or visualize energy being drawn in from the soles of your feet, up along the back of your legs to the base of your spine, and then as your exhale, visualize the energy passing up the center of the spine and then out through the crown of your head.  Continue to do long deep breathing is this manner as you hold the pose.

Online Kundalini Yoga Kriyas Using Back Stretching Pose:

(Coming Soon).

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28 replies
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  1. Julia
    Julia says:

    The text says to keep a straight back, which is helpful in obtaining a good stretch. But the drawing makes it look as though the object is to get the head to touch the knees while leaving the back bent in the air. This defeats the purpose of the exercise. A more accurate picture would be preferable.

  2. Anon
    Anon says:

    Is there a difference in the benefits of doing this pose and the standing knee kiss, (sorry I don’t know its actual name). Thanks for your response.

  3. Ranjan motah
    Ranjan motah says:

    Dear Anmol, I am from Mauritius. My Forefathers were from west Bengal. Could you tell some poses that will cure my haemoroids. May Krishna bless you for all you are doing for yoga. Ranjan

  4. chris
    chris says:

    Anmhol you have saved me and my families life with these yoga poses. Thank you so much for sharing these with the world sir, I cant tell you how thankful I am for your kind loving generosity.

  5. Trupti Mehta
    Trupti Mehta says:


    If you have any kind of back problems or issues it is always best to perform this posture under supervision and guidance of a certified Yoga teacher.

    All the best.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    wow! I never knew the sciatic nerve estimated the length of a humans life, i learn something extraordinary everytime I visit this site. I cant tell you how thankful I am for this pose, my mother has a problem with her sciatic nerve, im so glad to i found this pose thanks to you. I will show her this wonderful pose

  7. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Mamta,

    Don’t force it, we are built differently and it’s ok if you can’t reach your head to your knee. Just progress gently, and doing the stretch each day relative to your level of flexibility will give you all the benefits as well.

    To stretch a little further, have a partner help you by pushing gently from behind, also make sure you stretch when you are warmed up and also, you can practice this stretch standing up in the shower to help more hamstrings become more flexible.


  8. Mamta
    Mamta says:

    Thanks Anmol For The wonderful site.
    How on earth should i progress in Paschimuttanasan as i am stuck on catching the toes thats it & not being able to get my head near the knee at all. Have v tight hamstrings probably. Please guide me. i will be always grateful..
    God Bless..

  9. sathya
    sathya says:

    Thank you so much .sir..I started doing this yoga today..I am a rheumatoid arthritis patient for 18 years ,..I hope to get healed through this yoga,pray for me sir.

  10. Mahabaleshwara Hegde
    Mahabaleshwara Hegde says:

    Hi Anmol,
    You have simply done a wonderful job creating this site. Hats of to you. Great work and information, being an Hindu I was nearly an idiot as didn’t know that we have such a magical cure and method. Great.. please keep it up.
    God bless you and your family.
    Mahabaleshwara Hegde

  11. kl
    kl says:

    Fascinating to read about this posture! Before I started yoga, I couldn’t even SIT on the ground in this posture without bending my knees, or leaning way back. Couldn’t even get to 90 degrees, i.e. sitting straight up. I hate to think how short my sciatic nerve was!!!

    Now I can reach my toes with a straight spine, but it’s still one of the toughest postures for me.

    This article gives me the motivation to do it every single day in my practice.

    I love this extra detail you’re taking with postures – thanks Anmol!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Here I make sure I cover as much of the daily essential work as recommended by yoga as I can.  I almost always make sure we do Butterfly Pose, which is great to start off with and we also do Forward Bend, to stretch the all important life nerve.  One tip is to do these 2 poses before the breathing exercises so that the students, who have by then been sitting with legs crossed for some time, get a chance to stretch their legs.  In addition, you can do these 2 exercises with Breath of Fire (or Long Deep Breathing) so you accomplish the task of firing up their energy as well. […]

  2. Love Mind Body Spirit » Blog Archive » Yoga Breathing Technique to Feel Great, Sleep Better & Live Longer says:

    […] Best Hatha Yoga Pose for Spontaneous Healing […]

  3. Body Mind Spirit (somatic) Integration » Blog Archive » 100 Illustrated Relaxation Exercises for Your Mind, Body, and Soul says:

    […] Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose: This particular pose is supposed to be good for your nervous system and promote longevity. […]

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