Purvattanasana (Eastern/front intense stretch Pose) explained in picture with modification
Yoga

How to practice: Purvattanasana (Eastern/front intense stretch Pose)

Purvattanasana, or Western/back intense stretch pose, is the seventh posture in the Primary Series of the Astanga Vinyasa yoga system. The Primary Series is said to be the most demanding because it is the first series you learn as a beginner - and every beginning is hard. It is called Yoga Chikitsa, meaning Yoga Therapy. It is a series for cleansing and healing the body.

The Primary Series sets the foundation for all of the following series. If you look superficially, it may seem as if the Primary Series is the easiest of the six series in the Astanga Vinyasa System, but in fact, it is the most demanding. It is here that you start your practice, where you get used to the breath and Vinyasas, and to your daily yoga practice.

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Purvattanasana Instructions

  1. ekam
    Inhale, raise arms overhead, palms together
    Dhristi: to the middle of the thumb (angusthamadhye)

  2. dve
    Exhale, fold forward, hands to ground
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  3. trini
    Inhale, lift head, lengthen the spine
    Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  4. catvari
    Exhale, hands down, float back, elbows close to chest (Caturanga Dandasana)
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  5. panca
    Inhale, roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms
    Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  6. sat
    Exhale, roll over the toes, push back, lift hips, straight arms.
    Dhristi: to the navel (nabicakre)

  7. sapta
    Inhale, jump through to sitting, straight legs
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

    Exhale, place hands behind back

  8. astau
    Inhale, lift hips, drop the head back, stretch the legs, toes to the ground

    5 breaths, Purvattanasana
    Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  9. nava
    Exhale, lower down to the floor
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  10. dasa
    Inhale, cross legs and lift up balancing on the arms
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  11. ekadasa
    Exhale, jump back to Caturāṅga Daṇḍāsana
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  12. dvadasa
    Inhale, roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms
    Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  13. trayodasa
    Exhale, roll over the toes, push back, lift hips, straight arms.
    Dhristi: to the navel (nabicakre)

  14. caturdasa
    Inhale, jump feet between hands, lengthen the spine, lift your head up
    Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  15. pancadasa
    Exhale, head to knees
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

    Inhale, stand all the way up, arms on sides, Samasthitih, exhale
    Dhristi : to the nose (nasagre)

Purvattanasana Benefits

  • Strengthens the whole body (especially core body strength)

  • Strengthens the wrists and the ankles

  • Improves movements in the shoulder joints

  • Opens the chest

  • Benefits the nervous system, the heart and the lungs

  • Relieves fatigue from forward bending (counterpose)

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