Standing Forward Bend: How-to, Tips, Benefits
Tight back, shoulders and neck from sitting at a desk all day, moving boxes, or everyday stress? Here's how you can relax into a forward bend to start releasing all that tension and lining things up right.

How-to:
Stand with your feet parallel, hip width apart. Fold forward over your legs, allowing your back, arms, and neck to release toward the ground.

Tips: Don't worry about how close to your thighs or ground you get, and avoid using your muscles to pull you down here. Just breathe a lot, notice where you have tension in your back, legs, and neck, and see if you can release a bit with each exhale. A slight bend in the knees allows a shift in focus from releasing the backs of your legs to your back muscles.

Benefits:
Releases the muscles around the spine and neck, release the backs of legs.

To learn more about yoga, check out our video course The Complete Guide To Yoga With Tara Stiles.
About the Author

Mike is a guide and resident healer at Strala Yoga in New York. Named “Best Mover” by MindBodyGreen and one of Shape Magazine’s Hottest Trainers, he’s practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than three decades, including tai chi, qigong, and shiatsu.

In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions, by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. As he got older, he happily become more interested in supporting bodies than disrupting them, and continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university.

Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the U.S. and England, Mike left his healthcare roots. He worked at a steel mill for a while, joined a web company, and then founded a few more. He now serves on the board of Odyl, which helps people discover books on Facebook.

As Strala has grown, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, become their own best caregivers, and live happy capable lives. Mike is a mountaineer, runner, cyclist, skier, and snowboarder, and is the husband of yoga master Tara Stiles. You can take The Complete Guide To Yoga Video Course With Tara Stiles, Featuring Michael Taylor here at MindBodyGreen.

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