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The order of yoga poses is important in iyengar yoga classes. If an iyengar class includes backbends, forward bends will follow. Forward bends stretch the entire back of the body, which helps relieve any tension that has accumulated from backbends.
The key factor to keep in mind when doing seated forward bends, whether standing or sitting, is to fold forward from the hips. In most of our activities of daily living, we fold from the waist, which puts unnecessary stress on the lower back.
To begin a seated forward bend, sit up straight with your legs extended in front of you and your toes pointing up. Raise both arms over your head and fold forward from the hips. Concentrate on lengthening the spine and reaching to grab your toes if possible. If sitting upright on the floor is uncomfortable for you, sit up on one or more folded blankets before bending forward.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|