Paschimottanasana is our pose of the month for November. This seated forward fold produces a calming effect so it’s normally practiced in the cool-down portion of a class. Besides providing a delicious stretch for the entire backside of the body it is also thought to help improve digestion and rebalance hormones in female practitioners.
Common Misalignment: Many of us have a lot of tightness in the hamstrings and pelvis, which restricts flexion in the hips. Sometimes this lack of mobility also causes the legs to externally rotate.
The Fix: Elevate the pelvis by placing a folded blanket under the sit bones, so gravity can aid the movement of the torso forwards and down. For those with especially tight hamstrings bending the knees can help free up the hip flexors. Ground the sit bones and bring the pelvis into an anterior tilt, then lengthen the spine forwards before releasing the forehead towards the shins.