Paschimottanasana (Posterior posture)
Sit on a folded blanket with both the legs stretched and place the two hands on the knees. Slowly exhale, bend forward and catch hold of the big toes without lifting the knees. Bend your head down to touch the knees. Rest the elbows on the ground. Retain the posture for a few seconds. Gradually increase the duration of the time. Release the toes, and slowly return to the sitting position with inhalation. Take in a few slow deep breaths and exhale slowly. Repeat the posture two to three times. You can also do slow deep breathing while remaining in the posture.
When you gain mastery, you can comfortably stay for three to five minutes in the posture with normal breathing. While remaining in the posture, concentration should be on the spine and back muscles.
Stiff back and all sorts of cramp in the back muscles, and other diseases of the back are cured. The elasticity of the spine is increased. The hamstring muscles behind the knees are strengthened. It removes sluggishness and tones up the kidneys and abdominal organs. It also rejuvenates the spine and promotes better digestion.
Note: In the case of many, perfection in this Asana can be achieved only by regular practice for a number of days. Care should be taken not to cause too much of strain to the hip region.