Asana Category – Forward Bends / Forward Bending + Hip Stretching

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Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we examine forward bending and hip stretching poses as a category, and ways to apply this knowledge in teaching.


Become proficient in the nature and effects of forward bending and hip stretching poses, and considerations for wisely teaching and sequencing them.


Define forward bending and describe types of forward bends, their effects and examples for each. Describe hip stretching. List contraindications for forward bends and describe general physical effects and energetic effects of forward bends. Explain the terms “anterior tilt” and “posterior tilt” of the pelvis and what is advisable in forward bending alignment. Provide examples of ways to direct students that will encourage a balance of effort and ease in forward bending and explain how you can individualize teaching of forward bending. Name some forward bending poses that are safest for tight hamstrings and/or back issues, and explain how moving into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) with a “swan dive” may be risky for flexible practitioners. Describe how you might sequence forward bends and provide a list of forward bending poses.

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