'Paschim' means back and 'Uthan' means stretch in Sanskrit. Paschimothan asana gives a complete stretch to the entire back of the body, from the skull down to the heels. It is a little bit strenuous for beginners but, can be perfected only after a weeks practice.
Position for Readiness
Sit firmly on the floor with your legs stretched and heels together. Keep the spin, neck head straight upward. At this stage, keep the hands down on the floor on both sides.
Stretch out both the arms parallel to the stretched legs.
Inhale and proceed towards the toes and try to touch them. If you cannot touch the toe, proceed only as far as they can.
Exhale and slowly bring your head down in between the hands; stretch out the hands, toes and head as far as you can. Stay in the position for 6 seconds.
Inhale and return to the first position. While returning the palms should touch and dragged through the legs.
Start with three rounds and practice a maximum of five rounds a day.
This asana has effects on the whole of the spinal cord, the complete nervous system and all the organs and glands of abdominal area including pancreas, adrenal, sex glands etc..
For diabetic people it has great curative effect. It gives flexibility to the spine, restores youthfulness, and acts as a medicinal aid for back ache and stomach troubles. Strengthens the sex glands and massages all the abdominal organs.
It is recommended to perform the asana without coming forward, keeping your back spine concave and front torso long during pregnancy(up to second trimester).The pregnant woman adopts a sitting position, and uses a scarf or towel to stretch the back and legs.