Standing Forward Fold and The Heavy Roll Up

Forward folds stretch the back body and invite the body to relax in and surrender. The sensation of stretch can be felt from the bottoms of the feet all the way along the back body to the base of the skull. Folds also compress and massage the belly, improving digestion. For women, folds can also improve issues with reproductive organs, including cramps and infertility.

The Heavy Roll Up starts with a standing forward fold with the RAVI adding weight to the arms giving the arms an additional tug towards the ground.

  • Place the RAVI on the floor – within reach.
  • Stand with feet hip width apart.
  • Soften the knees, breathe in and reach up with the arms.
  • Exhale the arms down as you fold at the hips letting the arms eventually hang from the shoulders towards the ground.
  • If your hamstrings feel tight relax the knees more – allowing the chest to rest on the thighs (if that is comfortable).

 Add the RAVI

  • Grab elbows (or fingers interlace) and place RAVI over the forearms (or hands)
  • Allow the weight of the RAVI to pull you deeper into the fold and hold you in place.
  • Notice that you transfer the work of holding the shape out of the body – allowing you to relax even more as the RAVI holds you in place.
  • Soften the knees and begin to slowly roll up allowing the weight of the RAVI pull, tug and stretch the back of the spine.
  • As your rise to stand draw the shoulders to your ears and roll them back and down (draw in your shoulder blades as if they were hugging the back of your lungs.

Be mindful of sensations that arise – listen to your body and back off when necessary.

Here are a few variations and modifications for Standing Forward Folds:

Static Forward Fold – Roll or fold the RAVI and place across the top of the fold on the buttocks. Placing weight here will bring awareness to balance and alignment.

Roll or Fold the RAVI and place across the tops of the feet. Grounding sensation to the foundation of the shape.

Roll or Fold the RAVI and place under the heels and/or under the balls of the feet. Manipulating the foundation gives you an opportunity to experience the pose with a new perspective.