Ashtanga Yoga Pose Explained

INTENSE WIDE LEG STRETCH| Prasarita = Spread out, Pada= Foot, Uttana= Intense stretch Prasarita Padottanasana ‘C’ is a powerful wide-legged forward fold with the hands interlocked and launching over the head. It can feel intense. And we mean that in the best way!

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana ‘C’:

Prasarita Padottanasana ‘C’ 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 backache, as the forward fold relaxes the lower back muscles. As Prasarita Padottanasana ‘C’ involves interlocking the hands and taking the arms over the head, it engages the upper back muscles and the shoulder muscles. Lastly, to hang with the head heavy, towards the floor, encourages blood flow towards the brain which has been said to calm the mind.

Check out our steps below, making note of our tips and tricks for how to complete this asana correctly. Stretch on yogis!

Prasarita Padottanasana ‘C’ is the third wide-legged forward fold in the Ashtanga primary series sequence. It is identified merely by the letter ‘C.’ It is followed directly by Prasarita Padottanasana ‘B,’ and you do not need to return to Samashti base position before moving on to the Prasarita Padottanasana ‘A’ asana. Keep your legs in the same position throughout the entire A, B, C, and D sequence.

(1) Ekam - Inhale - Float the arms out to the sides, parallel to the mat.

(2) Dve - Exhale - Interlock or lace the fingers behind the back and straighten elbows.

Inhale - Flip the interlock fingers so the palms face away from the body. Lengthen the entire spine, pulling yourself up towards the sky.

(3) Trini - Exhale - Bend forward from the hips, drawing the crown of the head towards the floor, or placing it directly on the floor. The arms and interlocked hands will launch over the head, and you will work on bringing the hands as close to the floor as possible.

Hold the posture and breathe for 5 breaths.

(4) Chatvari - Inhale - Come up slowly by lengthening from the base of the spine.

Exhale - release the breath.

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

Tips for Successfully Completing Prasarita Padottanasana ‘C’:

The key points of Prasarita Padottanasana ‘C’ are keeping the shoulders away from the ears, pulling the shoulder blades together and moving down the back towards the floor. Make sure the neck is fully relaxed, with no tension whatsoever in the neck muscles. Your attention is on maintaining a straight, curved spine in this wide legged forward fold while pulling the interlocked hands as close to the ground as possible until touching the ground happens.

Modification for Prasarita Padottanasana ‘C’:

Bending the knees is allowed in this asana for a modification. Also, if it is painful to flip the interlocked hands so that the palms face away from the body, simply keep the palms pressed together with the interlocked fingers. Lastly, if it is impossible to interlock the fingers hold onto the opposite arms elbows behind your back and work on pulling those up over your back.