Paschimottanasana calms the brain and relieves stress and mild depression. It stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries and uterus. This asana
also offers relief from the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort.
Preparatory poses of Paschimottanasana include Balasana, Janu Sirsasana and
Uttanasana. Subsequent pose is Ardha Matsyendrasana.
In Sanskrit, 'pashima' means 'west' and 'uttana' means 'intense stretch.' The term 'Paschimottanasana' stands for 'intense stretch of the west.'