Prasarita Padottanasana ‘A’ is a wonderful stretch for the inner thighs, as well as the entire hamstring muscle. It’s also known to relieve mild back pain for those out there that need a lower back massage but just can’t find time for an appointment. Treat yourself to a little Prasarita Padottanasana ‘A’ instead!

Prasarita Padottanasana ‘A’ is one of four wide legged forward fold asanas in the Ashtanga Primary Series. There is an A, B, C, and D that are included in the primary series. Here we will discuss the first Prasarita Padottanasana variation of the sequence, identified by the letter ‘A.’

Begin in Samasthi position.

(1) Ekam - Inhale - Jump to the right, feet parallel, hands on hip joints. Toes pointed slightly inward. The distance between the feet will vary based on your height, but slightly more than one meter is a good idea for how wide.

(2) Dve - Exhale - Bend forward from the hips, placing the palms on the floor in line exact line with toes. The hands are approximately placed shoulder width apart.

Inhale - Raise your head up, look up, chest up, and straighten your spine.

(3) Trini - Exhale - Bend forward, drawing the crown of your head towards the floor. Make sure the neck is fully relaxed.

Hold the posture and breathe for 5 breaths.

<(4) Chatvari - Inhale - Raise your head upwards looking towards nose.

Exhale - Release breathe and do not disturb your position.

(5) Pancha - Inhale - Come up slowly. Placing hands on hips.

The eyegaze, dristi, is Nasagrai (the tip of the nose).

Tips for Successfully Completing Prasarita Padottanasana ‘A’:

Make sure that while holding this asana, you are focusing on firmly pressing the outer edges of your feet towards the mat. Also, make sure the big toes are firmly pressed into the mat. The thigh muscles are active, focusing on drawing them up and in.

When folding forward in this wide legged forward fold pose, make sure you bend your elbows and lower your torso and head into a full forward bend. Avoid curving the spine. Elongate the spine as much as possible as you bend forward. If possible, rest the top of your head on the floor. If not possible, then hang your head heavy and keep all the muscles in your neck relaxed.

Modification for Prasarita Padottanasana ‘A’:

Bending the knees is allowed in this asana for a modification.

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana ‘A’:

Prasarita Padottanasana ‘A’ strengthens and stretches the inner legs, as well as the back of the legs. It also stretches the spine. It is known to relieve a mild back ache, as the forward fold relaxes the lower back muscles. To hang with the head heavy, towards the floor, encourages blood flow towards the brain which has been said to calm the mind.