From Tadasana, hop or step the feet hip-width distance apart. Bring the hands to the waist and taking an inhale lift the crown of the head, lengthening the spine. As you exhale fold forward from the hips, keeping a straight spine and maintaining width across the collar bones. Reaching down, take the big toes in the index and middle fingers with the palms facing in. You can bend a little bit at the waist, but not too much. If you need to, bend the knees to reach the feet. Bending too much at the waist in forward bends can compress the lower spine leading to disc bulging and other problems.
Once you have the toes, take another inhale to lengthen the spine again, then exhale and fold forward. Check in with the feet. Notice if you tend to bring more weight to either side of the foot or into the toes or heels. Distribute your weight evenly while still lifting the inner arch. Draw the inner thighs in and up while spreading the sitbones wide and up.
If the elbows bend, let them bend out to the sides so that the collar bones stay open. Draw the shoulder blades up away from the ears and engage the quads, lifting the kneecaps up toward the hips. Check in to make sure you haven’t tensed the lower abdominals. Keep the lower belly soft and the torso relaxed. Don’t rely too much on the hands to pull yourself further into the forward bend. Instead, use the breath to lengthen the spine and use the hands simply to stabilize yourself in the pose.
To come out, inhale and lengthen the spine. As you exhale, bring the hands back to the waist and bend the knees slightly. Inhale and come all the way back up.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!