Teaching Cues: Discover Joy in Folding Forward- Creating Space in the Front Body by Focusing On Shoulder & Spine Alignment

Teaching Cues: the Joys of Folding Forward

What could you gain by joining our Yoga Teacher Training course? Insight!


Today we offer a short insight into some of the common Yoga forward bend postures and how to gain and maintain openness in the front body through shoulder and spine alignment. Here are a few watch points and teaching cues to help you practice these poses with openness yourself and teach them effectively.

Going into a forward fold shouldn’t entail closing down our front body, when doing a roll-down or a Downward Dog pose we should aim to create and maintain length and space in the abdomen and at the same time have our chest open and our shoulders and neck in alignment. The same is true of going into Childs Pose, we don’t want to collapse our trunk onto our thighs, we want to continue to maintain alignment and space when going into this pose.

Forward bends involve flexion of the hip and the primary role of forward bends is to stretch the lumbar spine, they also to stretch the neck, thoracic spine and hamstrings. To avoid students collapsing their chest or closing down the frontal body whilst entering or holding forward bend poses it is useful to encourage them to lengthen the chest away from the navel (think forward and up), expand the back body and widen the collar bones. This is relevant for all manner of forward folds such as :

  • Roll-downs
  • Balasana (Childs Pose)
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated forward fold)
  • Parsva Upavistha Konasana (Side Seated Angle)
  • Parsvottanasana (Pyramid)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  • Jana Sirasana (Head To Knee Pose)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-legged Forward Bend)

There are many things which could make forward bends difficult for students and practitioners alike but all are surmountable. The bespoke use of props to demonstrate and allow the student to “feel” the correct motion and learn alignment as a result is something that Elena Voyce has pioneered, and it is one of the things that sets her teaching apart from others.

Since a key factor in wellbeing and practice is posture, at Teach Yoga we offer specific insights to your yoga practice and how poses can be harnessed to heal and realign our bodies. We’ll teach you how to address your own posture but also give you Teaching Cues and variations to help you become a more effective teacher.

Whether you’re joining to become a teacher or to deepen your own practice and gain insight into your body and your yoga or if you’re already a movement specialist and are looking for a deeper understanding of how movement works there is so much unique learning offered by Teach Yoga Teacher Training Courses which will enrich your life, your focus and your practice!


We’d love you to join our teaching community! For more info of our courses starting now have a look at the ‘Training’ tab here on the Teach Yoga website, contact us via the Contact Form below or E-mail info@teachyoga.com.



Interested in this course?

Fill-in the form below and we’ll get you signed up!


Teaching Cues: The Joys of an Open Forward Fold enquiry form


By Samantha Doepel

You may also like

The SASSY Approach to Yoga and Life by Elena Voy...

BACK TO FRONT: Tips for teaching Adho Mukha Svan...