Paschimottasana is a classic yoga pose mentioned in Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, written by the Indian Yogi, Swatmarama about five hundred years ago. The word ‘Paschimottasana’ is composed of three Sanskrit words – ‘Paschima’, which means west or the back of the body, ‘Uttana’ meaning an intense stretch, and ‘Asana’, which means pose. In English, it is also called the ‘Seated Forward Bend’, or ‘Intense Dorsal Stretch’.
Paschimottanasana completely stretches the back muscles and helps the practitioner to get a very flexible body. As the back muscles are a bit stiff in most adults, yoga enthusiasts need to practice and learn to do the pose over a while.