First day at my YTT journey, the teacher asked us what were our goals we wanted to achieve from this YTT. Some student said “hand-stand”, some said “scorpion”…Only my answer was”standing forward bend”, being able to fold myself completely has always been a dream for me, it seems a very easy pose, however, as someone like me who is completely not flexible, it is a big challenge. I thought I knew how to do it but simply require more practice and flexibility. However, after the first day training, I realized I have been doing this pose completely wrong!
After the teacher explained what is the purpose of this pose, which muscles need to be engaged, I started to observe myself and other students and realized that when we practice Uttanasana, we normally focus too much on reaching our palms on floor also trying so hard to have our faces reached sheen, with that, if you are not flexible enough, the common mistake for that is having round back. In order to lengthen the spine and fully stretch the hamstring, there are couple of really important elements about this pose which have been neglected by many people. 1) tug-in tailbone, as only when you tug in your tailbone, you can engage your core accordingly fold from the hip rather than from the lower back. 2) if palms cannot touch the floor, bend knees to ensure stomach always rest on your thighs, and this also helps us to avoid rounding our back.
I will keep on practicing with the right method as only with the correct way we can progress and improve, I believe eventually I will able to achieve my goal, fully fold my body from hips, a perfect “Uttanasana”.