A simple forward bending sequence for experienced students

paschimotonasna with kofi

Some readers have requested that I give more sequences in my posts. Here is my lesson plan for tomorrow’s class. It is forward bending pose (Paschima Pratana Sthiti) week at my studio. Forward bends are nice to “cool” the nervous system during these hot summer days in the Northern Hemisphere. I provided links with some of the poses for instructions.

Tadasana with Gomukhasana Arms

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 10.13.19 PM

Adho Mukha Svanasana at wall

penn studio

Utthita Trikonasna

iyengar triangle

Utthita Parsvakonasana

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 10.34.44 PM


parsvottanasana (2)

Prasarita Padottanasana

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 1.28.13 PM


Salamba Sirsasana (Use wall if new to pose. Don’t do if menstruating, have glaucoma or high blood pressure. Omit and go to next pose.)


Baddha Konasana

baddha konasana

Janu Sirsasana

janu sirsasana



Halasana (Don’t do if menstruating, go to savasana instead omitting next two poses).

SS halasana

Salamba Sarvangasana (see above note).




If you do this at home it could take you between 1 to 1.5 hours depending on how long you hold and repeat the poses. If you have time constraints, please do not sacrifice savasana. For my classes I will repeat the standing poses a few times and teach to points I see my students need to work on. Inversions should only be done once for beginners, particularly Salamba Sirsasana. I started with Gomukhasana arms to get the chest opened and prepped for the stage I concave back position in the above forward bends and for the shoulder work in Salmaba Sirsasana. Have a wonderful practice!

14 thoughts on “A simple forward bending sequence for experienced students

  1. christopherpaiva

    Cool post, but like in the studio when my instructor says “for advanced students”, I know I’m not ready for what is coming next.

    Thanks for sharing! I will be there someday!


  2. Sudhanshu Srivastava

    Dear Miachel,

    I read somewhere that we should do Salamba Sarvangasana first and then Halasana. Please explain.



    1. yogibattle Post author

      It is fine to do Halasana first then S. Sarvangasana. In fact it is hard to do without first doing Halasana. See my post “shoulder stand done right.” The only way I would not teach Halasana before S. Sarvangasana is after doing backbends without first neutralizing the back with a wide Adho Mukha Svanasana. Keep in mind there are no hard and fast rules aside from common sense safety issues. I appreciate your questions Sudhanshu. Where are you from anyway?


  3. Sudhanshu Srivastava

    Dear Miachel,

    I miserably fail while attempting forward bend which have to be done by seating in Dandasana .
    Specially in Janu Sirsasana and Paschimottonasana, I can not bend more than 20 – 30 degree.
    Also, I am not able to attempt even by using Bolsters on my leg in these asanas. I am finding these clan of asanas most difficult. Please suggest how to attempt these asana by a beginners.



    1. yogibattle Post author

      Don’t be so hard on yourself. Anyone who sincerely tries yoga does not “miserably fail.” These asanas teach us about ourselves in many ways aside from physically. Later today I will publish and forward bending sequence for beginning students. Paschimottanasana is still difficult for me and I’ve been doing it for 15 years!


      1. Sudhanshu Srivastava

        Due to flexibility in certain body part we are able to perform some tough looking pose like urdhva dhanurasana and then fail miserably in doing others like Paschimottanasana. You may call it over-enthusiastic approach of a beginner. But, now onwards, I will try to go step by step.So, Its my request to you that shed more light on classification of Asanas in various level.


      2. yogibattle Post author

        Try not to go after specific poses for mastery. That will lead to injury. Instead, learn the “actions” of the poses, then the more challenging poses will come in their own time.


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