An Easy Guide to Uttanasana, or Forward Fold  

Work your yoga practice with our easy guides to great yoga poses. Yoga Pose: Uttanasana, or Forward Fold. 

Watch a clip

Uttanasana, or Forward Fold, is an important asana because, in addition to stretching and releasing tension from the body, it is believed to balance the body. This is because it combines activity with passivity, and surrender, once the body is properly aligned.  

This yoga pose teaches patience, concentration and letting go.  

Uttanasana, or Forward Fold, is a wonderfully calming and comforting yoga pose that soothes the mind, slows the heart rate, and stretches out the spine. 

B.K.S. Iyengar wrote that, practiced regularly, 2 minutes in this pose is enough to remove depression. 

This yoga pose will also stimulate the liver, spleen and kidneys, and stretch the hips and legs. 


Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Uttanasana, or Forward Fold, in easy steps  

Step 1:

Stand in Mountain pose (Tadasana), feet are together. 

Step 2:

Firmly root through your feet, weight evenly spread. 

Step 3:

Inhale and sweep your arms overhead. 

Step 4:

Exhale, bend forward from the hip joints and take the trunk and arms down, fingertips on the floor. 

Step 5:

Look up, lengthening the arms and the front of the body, stretching through the back. 

Step 6:

Slowly straighten your legs if possible and bring your palms to your shins, or lightly rest your fingertips or palms on the floor beside your toes. Take a couple of breaths. 

Step 7:

Exhaling fold your torso into your legs, resting the head on the shins, fingertips or palms on the mat. 

Step 8:

Press the feet strongly into the floor and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. 

Step 9:

With each exhalation release a little more, allowing your head to hang like a ripe fruit. 

Step 10:

Stay in the pose for as long as comfortable, breathing evenly. 

Step 11:

To come out, inhale and slowly roll up, vertebrae by vertebrae. 


Image: Ariadne Vickers

Yoga pose category:  Standing 

Level: 1 

Although Uttanasana is a beginners’ yoga pose, some of us struggle with the notion of hanging our head upside down. Try to relax into it - it will repay you; the rush of blood to your head will give your cells a rejuvenating boost of oxygen – making you feel revitalised and full of life. 


Sanskrit words meaning: 

Ut – intense 

Tan – extend 

Asana - pose


Yoga Pose Health benefits: 





- Fatigue 


- Detox 

- Menstruation 

High blood pressure


Yoga Pose Contraindications: 

- Back injury 

- Knee injury

Sign up to our newsletter to receive 10% off your first order, events & exclusive subscriber only offers here

Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.