Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)

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Standing Forward Bend Pose, Uttanasana, (OOT-tahn-AHS-ah-nah)

uttana (intense stretch) + āsana (pose)

Also known as: Standing Forward Fold Pose, Standing Head To Knees Pose, Intense Forward-Bending Pose

Pose Type: Inversions, Standing, Stretching, Stress Relief, Headaches, Back Pain

Difficulty: Beginner

standing forward bend Uttanasana

Calm your mind and feel a release down the backs of your legs in Standing Forward Bend.

standing forward bend Pose Fundamentals

In Standing Forward Bend, turn your focus away from trying to touch your toes, or flatten your palms on the earth.

Instead, turn your focus to the feeling. Feel a comfortable, intense stretch down the full length of your back and deep in your hamstrings.

Don’t force it.

Find the Standing Forward Fold in Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) A and B.

standing forward bend Pose benefits

  • Stretches the hamstring, calves, hips, and back muscles.

How To Do The standing forward bend Pose: Step-By-Step

1. Begin at the front of the mat in Mountain Pose with your hands at your hips.

2. Gently bend your knees and on an exhale, hinge your hips to fold your torso down and over your thighs.

3. Drift your hands down. You may find them resting on the earth, or hanging loosely near the ground.

4. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale, straighten your legs and lift your kneecaps.

5. Lengthen your neck and extend the crown of your head down towards your mat.

annotated image of a woman doing yoga's standing forward bend pose

Variations: standing Forward Bend Pose

Bent Knees

If the stretch in your hamstrings feels too intense, simply bend your knees. Feel free to peddle your legs here, warming up your hamstrings for a deeper stretch.

Clasped Elbows

Alternatively, clasp each elbow with the opposite hand and hang here, releasing your neck. You can gently sway from side to side in this pose to give you a wonderful and comfortable stretch down your entire back body.

Preparatory Poses

Mountain Pose

Standing Half Forward Bend

Seated Forward Bend

Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big Toe Pose)

Counter Poses

Downward Facing Dog

Chair Pose

High Lunge

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Photo of author
Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover.

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