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Rag Doll Pose

Standing forward bend that lengthens your spine and flexes the lower back.
 

Rag Doll Pose is beneficial for relieving tension in your head, neck, shoulders and lower back. This pose is also useful for lengthening your spine and increasing the flexibility in the back of your legs. You may want to perform Rag Doll Pose to rest after performing more strenuous standing poses, such as Triangle Pose.
 
Rag Doll Pose is a more relaxed variation of Standing Forward Bend. You may want to perform Rag Doll Pose to prepare for Standing Forward Bend.
 
While performing Rag Doll Pose, your upper body should hang loose and relaxed like a rag doll. If you have a weak lower back, make sure you bend your knees and roll up one vertebra at a time as you come out of the pose. You should also come out of the pose slowly if you become dizzy easily.
 
You should use caution performing Rag Doll Pose if you have a back injury, high blood pressure or an eye problem, such as glaucoma.
 
Steps:
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Step your right foot to the right 2 to 3 feet.
Exhale as you bend forward from your hips, keeping the soles of your feet pressed evenly into the floor.
Bend your knees slightly.
Relax your head and neck toward the floor to lengthen your spine.
Let your arms dangle toward the floor.
(Visualize yourself as a rag doll, hanging limp and relaxed.)
Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds. With each exhalation, allow yourself to relax a little more into the pose.
To come out of the pose, inhale as you bend your knees and slowly roll up to a standing position, pressing the soles of your feet evenly into the floor. Then return to Mountain Pose.
 
Modification:
You can use a wall for support and rest your hands on your thighs. This modification is beneficial if you have high blood pressure. Lean back against a wall, allowing the wall to support your weight as you bend forward. Rest your hands on your thighs. Keep your knees relaxed, your back flat and your head above your heart.
 
What can I do to relax my upper body and neck more in Rag Doll Pose?
Perform the pose as described above, except sway your upper body from side to side. To further relax your neck, gently nod your head up and down while performing the pose. You can also gently shake your head from side to side.
 
Can I vary the position of my arms in this pose?
Yes. Instead of allowing your arms to dangle toward the floor, you can fold your arms so that each elbow rests in the palm of your opposite hand. Then let your elbows hang down toward the floor as you hold the pose.
 
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