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.

Michael Taylor

Mike Taylor is the co-founder of Strala along with his wife, Tara Stiles. He studied mind-body medicine at Harvard and complementary medicine at Oxford. Mike has practiced Eastern movement and healing, including tai chi and qigong, for more than 30 years. 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. His record established the strength of finding your own way in your own body rather than copying the techniques of other people’s traditions. As he got older, Mike continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the United States and England, he left his health care roots for a little while. As the first internet boom was getting started, he joined the startup team of one company, then founded a couple more. Now through Strala, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, enable their lives, and become their own best caregivers.Mike has climbed some of the world’s largest mountains in Alaska, the Alps, and the Himalayas. He’s now a cyclist and runner and spends as much free time as possible exploring the backcountry on foot, skis, and snowboard. He lives in New York with his wife, Tara, and baby, Daisy.

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