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How to Do a Standing Forward Bend

The Standing Forward Bend stretches the entire backside of your body—and then makes you smarter. You heard us right: the pose increases the blood flow to your brain, supposedly stimulating intelligence.


  • Step 1: Stand on mat Stand in the middle of your mat with your legs together and your weight centered on the balls of your feet.
  • Step 2: Stretch arms up Inhale, and stretch both of your arms straight up overhead, alongside your ears.
  • Step 3: Bend forward & grab legs Keeping your legs straight, exhale and bend forward at the waist, reaching down and grabbing hold of the back of your legs wherever feels the most comfortable.
  • TIP: As you gain flexibility in your legs, try different holds to get different stretches – looping your fingers around your big toes, sliding your fingers and palms under the front of your feet, or catching hold of your elbows behind your legs.
  • Step 4: Relax head & neck Keep your head and neck relaxed, allowing gravity to do its work.
  • Step 5: Hold pose Hold the pose, breathing smoothly and evenly for several breaths. As you get more comfortable with this pose, you'll be able to stay in it for minutes at a time.
  • Step 6: Release pose Release the pose by bringing your hands to your hips, lifting the straight torso to waist-level so it's parallel to the floor, and then raising it up straight on an inhale. Don't you look smart.
  • FACT: The word hamstring comes from the ancient Teutonic word "ham," meaning "crooked"—in other words, the knee.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket

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