Uttanasana with Clasped Hands

Most of corporate America spends his/her time sitting at a desk for hours upon hours in a day. This causes hunched shoulders, crunched lower backs, and tight muscles. The perfect antidote? Uttanasana, or forward bend, with clasped hands.

Start by rolling the shoulders open, squeezing shoulder blades together, and clasping hands behind the back. Puff up the chest and fold over at the hips with straight legs, bringing clasped hands over head. This simple forward fold provides a great stretch for the hamstrings, calves, and all the muscles in the back. The clasped hands over head opens up the slumped shoulders and closed chest. What I also love about this pose is that you get benefits of an inversion without having to go upside down. With the hips higher than the heart, blood flows to the heart and brain, improving circulation and providing the brain with more oxygen. This in turn allows the brain to work more efficiently and increases mental revitalization.

So if you find your muscles achy and tight from sitting at a computer for too long or feel the afternoon energy slump kicking in, give yourself the benefits of a forward fold with clasped hands. Not only will you automatically feel better, but you also won’t draw unnecessary attention from needing to be on your back, belly, or on your hands. The icing on top? It’s suit and dress-friendly :)

*Modify the pose with bent knees as done in the photo if hamstrings are tight.

Atthena Breitton is a passionate yoga practitioner, meditation specialist, and founder of AtthenaYoga in New York City. Coming from a professional background in investment banking and investing, she understands the stressful work environments of NYC and has experienced first hand what yoga and meditation can do for the mind, body, and spirit. Contact: atthenayoga@gmail.com or 856-840-9436.