Niralamba Paschimottanasana (Unsupported Back Stretching Pose)

The word niralaviba means ‘unsupported’; the rough translation of paschimattan is ‘back stretch’. The English name of this asana is the ‘unsupported back stretching pose’1.

Niralamba paschimottanasana requires a very flexible spine. Before trying it you should master paschimottanasana.


Sit on the floor with the knees bent.

Grasp the soles of your feet as shown.

This is the starting pose.

Relax the whole body.

Breathe in deeply.

Raise your feet.

Try to straighten your legs.

Maintain balance.

Firmly maintain hold of the feet with the hands.

Adjust yourself so that you are perfectly balanced.

Breathe out.

Then breathe in deeply.

By pulling your arms try to draw your head towards the knees.

Don’t strain.

Try to relax your back as much as possible.

In the final pose either: hold the breath, or breathe deeply and slowly.

After a comfortable length of time slowly lower the legs to the starting position.

Relax the whole body and breathe normally.

This is the end of 1 round.

If you wish you can try another round.

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