1. Forward folds stretch the entire backside of the body – from head to heels.
Out of the thousands of asanas out there, many yoga gurus consider seated forward folds are the most beneficial poses for target areas because it opens the entire backside of the body at once – from heels to calves, to hamstrings to hips, and all along the entire spine through to the tips of your fingers. This pose, like most forward folds, builds strength and flexibility in the spine. Forward folds release tension in the neck, upper back and lower back.
2. Forward folds soothe the nervous system and encourage introspection
Forward folds create space between each of your vertebras, increasing circulation of your millions of nerves. This targets the parasympathetic nervous system; ultimately returning your body back to homeostasis. By soothing the nervous system, and getting out of the stressful flight or fight mode, yogis can turn their gaze inward – physically and emotionally.
3. Forward folds tone and stimulate the internal organs
By folding forward, you increase circulation to the abdominal organs like the spleen, pancreas, liver, intestines and kidneys. As a result, this improves digestion and stimulates metabolism.
4. Forward folds increase circulation to the pelvic organs
In particular, forward bends can alleviate menstrual discomfort due to fresh blood flowing into the uterus in this pose. The increased circulation to the pelvic organs can also help with some symptoms of menopause. Increasing circulation to this area can also help with infertility. Many yoga gurus recommend it for women after childbirth to encourage healing.
5. Forward folds calm the mind and cool the body
After a rhythmic sequence of poses, a pause in forward fold floods the body with calm and grounding energy that offers you the space to slow down your breath and heart rate. As your head is below your heart, fresh oxygenated blood rushes to your head and rejuvenates you for the next section of a strong sequence. Forward folds have a lasting impact as they can reduce anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia