Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) helps a hiker get stronger and go longer by stretching the hamstrings, calves, and hips and strengthening the knees and thighs.
Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), hands on the hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. If possible, with your knees straight, bring your palms or fingertips to the floor slightly in front of or beside your feet, or bring your palms to the backs of your ankles. If this isn’t possible, cross your forearms and hold your elbows. Press the heels firmly into the floor and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. Turn the top thighs slightly inward. With each inhalation in the pose, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation, release a little more fully into the Forward Bend. The legs must stay active to protect the lower back.
Bethany Lyons is a powerful leader, creator, community builder and co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga, Manhattan's only Baptiste-style yoga studio. Bethany is a classically trained ballet dancer, Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher and Master Instructor at SoulCycle. In co-founding Lyons Den Power Yoga, Bethany seeks to showcase the endless possibilities all around us and to show up in a big way for her students and in her life.