Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)

If the holidays make you want to go hide, then this pose is the next best thing. Well perhaps no one will be fooled but seated forward bend is an excellent way to relieve some holiday pressure. Performing this pose helps to calm the brain which can ease stress and mild depression. If the excesses of the holidays (ie food and alcohol) are an issue then this pose is indicated as well since it also improves digestion, relieves constipation and is tonifying for the liver.

In general, this pose stretches out the back, neck, shoulders and hamstrings so it helps with tension headaches. It is also helpful for sleep and relieving menstrual cramps. This pose is not recommended if you have asthma or diarrhea. If you have a back injury, you will want to perform this pose under the supervision of an experienced teacher.