Paschimottanasana and Purvottanasana for the flexibility of spine


According to the HatayogaPradeepika, Paschimottanasana is one of the most effective asanas for prevention of various diseases, improving the digestion and enhancing the body shape. Since the body is erect for most of time, it induces extremely high stress on the spine.

The daily practice of this asana enhances the flexibility of the spine and the joints. It also improves the functioning of the various organs in the body and the nervous system.  One among the trimoortis(Three Gods) of asanas, this asana is also known as Ugrasana or Brahmacharyasana

How to practice:

  1. Sit down and stretch your legs in a way that the toes point towards the face. Keep the palms on the floor besides the hip. Breathe in and lift your hands up keeping them parallel to your ears. Try to stretch the spine to the maximum.
  2. Keeping the spine stretched, without bending the backbone, take a deep breath and lean forward to touch the toes.
  3. Keep the pointing finger and the middle finger between the thumb toe and pointer toe and press the thumb toe with the thumb of the hand. If you find it difficult to touch the toes, it would be enough to touch the ankles or the knees. The feet should be together and the knees should be straight. Breathe out and go back to the initial position.


  • Provides the heart and liver with a massage effect thereby boosting their smooth functioning.
  • Improves digestion
  • Controls the intestines and subsequently prevents constipation.
  • Controls the blood sugar and subsequently prevents diabetes.
  • Enhances the nervous system
  • Makes the joints and spine flexible.
  • Strengthens the pelvis and the hip.
  • Improves the circulation of breath
  • Relaxes the mind


Being the Vipareethasana of Paschimottanasana, it is extremely important that one practices Purvottanasana

immediately after Paschimottanasana.


  • It stretches the complete body
  • Expand the chest and increases the circulation of air in the lungs.
  • Improves the blood circulation
  • Strengthens the shoulders, hands and the hips.

How to practice

Sit down with your legs straight. Now keep your palms on the floor behind your back, with the wrist facing the buttocks. Now, breathe in as much as possible and lift the hips.

Make sure that the legs are close to each other and are straight. Let the head rest backwards.

Breathe out and come back to initial position. Shake your hands to reduce any stress in the muscles. Practice Savasana to relax the body.