The effect on the mind comes because the asanas move prana in the body. When prana flows freely, you have everything you need to feel well. Your mind can stop chasing and racing and rests comfortably in the present moment.
Paschimottanasana, or West side facing up pose, is a good practice for moving prana in your body so that your mind can find peace wherever it is. But the key to the flow of prana is in how you practice.
Instead, turn your pelvis forward to fold over your legs, engaging the muscles along the front of your thighs to allow the muscles along the back to release and lengthen. Use each inhale to lengthen through your spine and exhale to release forward. When you reach your full expression of the pose, you’ll be neither pushing nor holding back. Here in this meeting point you’ll find a sweetness in your body and a softening of your mind. You may even detect the presence of the divine.
Essence: Lengthening backs of legs, calming
Strength: Front side of thighs and pelvic floor
Anchor: Sit bones
Paschimottanasa from the ground up