Submitted by Thiruvelan on Tue, 06/25/2013

Paschimottanasana is a Sanskrit words "paschima" means west (or back of the body), "uttana" means intense stretch, and "asana" means posture. This yoga pose is good for those suffering from diabetes, hyperacidity, and migraine. This yoga can stimulate the internal organs like liver, pancreas, and kidney.

How do you do Paschimottanasana?

  • Sit on the floor; stretch the legs straight in front. Place the palms by the side of the hips on the floor. Take a few deep breaths.
  • Exhale, stretch the hands and hold the toes with the fingers. Hold the big toe by the right thumb and the index by the respective hands. Try keeping the knees on the floor by preventing it rising from the ground. In the initial stages, the knees will lift off from the floor. Practice this stage for few days, once attain perfection try the next step.
  • Learn to bend the back right from the pelvic region and extend the arms from the shoulders. Take a few deep breaths.
  • Exhale, bend and widen the elbows. Pull the trunk forward and place the forehead on the knees. Gradually try resting the elbows on the floor, gently stretch the neck and trunk until the nose then lips touch the knees.
  • When this becomes easy, take further effort to hold the sole and rest the chin on the knees.
  • Try stay in this position for one to five minutes breathing evenly.
  • Inhale, raise the head from the knees and relax.


People with slipped disc problems and sciatic problems should not practice Paschimottanasana.

Benefits of Paschimottanasana

  • Paschimottanasana is highly beneficial in cases of hypertension, diabetes, sinusitis and asthma.
  • Paschimottanasana stretches the entire back muscles of the body from the neck to feet. While stretching the back muscles, the internal organs in the abdominal region are massaged well. Eliminates general lethargy and weakness, and makes the body strong, flexible and sturdy.
  • It improves digestion, cure’s constipation, increase appetite, and relieve gastrointestinal diseases. This pose relieves headaches owing to digestive problems.
  • Paschimottanasana removes fatty deposits on the back and around the hips, cures sciatic neuralgia, turns fat people into slim, and hemorrhoids.
  • Due to the intense stretching in the pelvic area, more oxygen enriched blood supply results in more nutrition to these regions. This pose stimulates the kidneys, liver and uterus. This yoga is good for menstrual disorders, provides relief from pain & all the men’s diseases.
  • It increases vitality, cure impotence, ability to control the sexual activity and eliminates the nocturnal emissions in men. Thus, Paschimottanasana is nick named as Brahmacharyasana. In Sanskrit, Brahmacharya (celibacy) means the ability to control own sexual desires and urges.
  • This pose activates nervous system by stimulating Solar Plexus, known as Manipura Chakra.
  • Paschimottanasana relaxes the body and the mind. It improves mind focus, calm mind, relieves stress and tension.
  • It stimulates kundalini power and achieves energy balance.