Namaskaras are salutations. They are a form of prostration. Salutations also warm up the body, establish a link between the breath and the body, and focus the mind. 

Modes of Practice

Forward folds can be done in both a dynamic way [yang] or in a passive way [yin]. When done in a dynamic way we are creating the alignment mentioned above with action, using muscular strength and fascial contraction. This mode should be done with a great deal of focus on keeping the alignment precise, but should only be done in short sessions for instance just holding for five to ten breaths at a time. This type of action creates functional strength and stability. 

When forward folding in a passive way, the alignment is supported. For instance, you may use a blanket to rotate the hips forward, a bolster to support bent knees, and two blocks to hold the feet. Once the body is entirely supported, in the position that you want to create [proper alignment], then the body is completely relaxed, especially relaxing the tissues in the body that you are trying to change. Practicing in this way requires that the tissues that you want to change [by stretching or releasing]  be completely malleable, completely relaxed, and then staying that way for a long time, maybe three to five minutes. This type of action creates space in the body by breaking of fascial adhesions and lengthening connective tissues. 



  • They bring space to tight lower backs, and movement to stiff lower backs. 
  • FF strengthen the legs, the abdominals, the back. 
  • Opens the gluteus, the chest, the feet, and the hamstrings, calves, achilles tendon. 
  • Improves posture. 
  • Activates parasympathetic nervous system


  • Calms the mind.
  • Relieves anxiety. 
  • Develops inner wisdom.


  • Activates mūlādhāra cakra. 
  • Cultivates groundedness, rootedness. 
  • Clears energy channels in the front and the back of the body depending on the FF variation. 
  • Opens the sahasrāra cakra
  • Connects mūlādhāra and sahasrāra. 
  • Balances iḍā nāḍi [left] and piṇgalā nāḍī [right] 
  • Joining the energy of left and right, front and back stimulates suṣumṇā. 
  • Joins the inner energy


  • Severe pelvic injury
  • Slipped discs and back injuries
  • Pulled hamstrings
  • Lumbar hernias
  • Abdominal inflammation 
  • Enlarged organs


  • Forward bends are a good way to start opening the body. 
  • Supine forward bends are the safest.
  • Deep forward bends should be done after a complete warm up. 
  • Hip opening greatly improves forward folding. 
  • External FF before Internal or Neutral FF in a series of forward bends. 
  • Daṇḍāsana is a good foundational FF. 
  • Do Not alternate between FF and Backbends.