Forward Bend Yoga Poses

5 Steps to Master Standing Forward Bend

Kathryn Budig shares her instructions to get into Uttanasana. Plus, reap the benefits and avoid these mistakes.

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Next in YOGAPEDIA Modifications to find safe alignment for your body in Uttanasana >

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

ut = intense
tan = to stretch or extend
asana = pose

Benefit: A calming posture that lengthens the hamstrings and activates the inner legs


1. Stand with your feet together. Bend your knees slightly and fold your torso over your legs, moving from the hips, not the lower back.

2. Place your hands next to your feet or on the ground in front of you.

3. Inhale and extend your chest to lengthen your spine. Keep your gaze directed forward.

4. Exhale and gently press both legs toward straight. Lift the kneecaps and gently spiral your upper, inner thighs back. Keep your legs straight without hyperextending.

5. On an exhalation, extend your torso down without rounding your back. Stay long throughout your neck, extending the crown of your head toward the ground. Draw your shoulders down your back.

Avoid These Mistakes

DON’T round your upper back and roll your shoulders forward


DON’T lock your knees and round your lower back


Watch the video on YOGAPEDIA