Forward Bends

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we examine forward bending poses as a category, and ways to apply this knowledge in teaching.


Become proficient in the nature and effects of forward bending poses, and considerations for wisely teaching and sequencing them.


Define forward bending, types of forward bends, their effects, and examples for each. List contraindications and describe general physical effects and energetic effects of forward bends. Explain the terms “anterior tilt” and “posterior tilt” of the pelvis and what is advisable in forward bending alignment. Provide examples of ways to direct students that will encourage a balance of effort and ease in forward bending and explain how you can individualize teaching of forward bending. Name some forward bending poses that are safest for tight hamstrings and/or back issues and explain how moving into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) with a “swan dive” may be risky for flexible practitioners. Describe how you might sequence forward bends and provide a list of forward bending poses.