Q&A: Why are standing forward folds easier than seated variations?
I can do hip openers like pigeon and lizard and things like that, but when it comes to a seated forward fold, I can hardly bend forward! I can touch my hands to the floor in standing forward fold but don’t feel anything in my hamstrings in a seated version and my spine is so rounded! Why is it so much harder?
Standing forward folds are always easier because the pelvis can tilt more freely which allows for freer movement of the spine. You also have the leverage of the weight of the upper body in a standing forward fold! To improve your seated variations, practice standing ones first. Also be sure to incorporate poses like Pyramid, Triangle, Extended Side Angle, Standing Split, and Standing Wide Forward Fold, which are great for prepping your body for seated forward folds. To stretch the inner thighs and adductors, focus on Warrior 2, Pigeon, Wide Legged Lizard, and even try some foam rolling! As a side note, remember you do NOT have to get the spin “straight” in any forward fold. You should have a natural curve in the spine. As long as you initiate the fold from the hip crease, you’re doing well!