A-FB. Forward Bends

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Extension brings space, space brings freedom, freedom brings precision. Precision is truth and truth is God.  BKS Iyengar

The following text is the introduction to forward bends from Basic Guidelines for Teachers

‘The asanas ln sitting posture done with forward extension are called paschima pratana sthiti. Similar to standing asanas, the forward extension asanas are visible and perceivable movements for beginners. One can see the body and identify its movements. The heart faces the floor in all the forward extensions and this gives rest and helps one recover from fatigue.

Therefore, when the practitioner attempts the forward extensions after the standing asanas he/she recovers from fatigue, and his/her nerves are soothed bringing calmness. He/ she becomes quiet if standing asanas stimulate, the forward extension asanas pacify the brain. The former leads towards activity and latter towards passivity. The energy therefore remains balanced. The former improves the musculo-skeletal structure whereas the latter strengthens and soothes the neuromuscular system. The former creates heat in body and latter cools the mental system. The former builds up stamina and physical strength. The latter builds endurance and mental strength. The fanner develops will power and the latter controls the overflowing will power. Therefore, one can easily understand that the agitated mind is calmed down by forward extension whereas, the dullness of the body and mind is eradicated by standing asanas’.

Iyengar Geeta, Basic Guidelines for Teachers

The material in this subject is not intended for the learning of asanas as this is the role of a teacher. The 10-week subject brings together a diverse range of material including Video extracts from conventions, articles, audio class recordings and book extracts to deliver a literature review.

This subject is best broken into weekly segments for review so as to best digest the material. For example, a video may be viewed 2 or 3 times across a week prior to practice or an article printed to read during the evening before the next day’s practice.

By listening to our teachers in their own words we reflect on our own understanding. By hearing the different ways our teachers present their work during different conventions and events we are exposed to the depth and breadth of our system