If holding both your toes simultaneously is not easy, then one can fold one leg and bring it’s sole adjacent to the other thigh. The other leg must be stretched out and try holding its toe with both your hands. If you are doing well with one leg, try the other leg too. This sequence has to be followed thrice with each leg. When successful with both legs, proceed to try holding both the legs simultaneously as done in Paschimottanasana.
Note: Some have been able to raise their legs up in the air, one at a time, bend their head forward and keep their hands straight in Paschimottanasana. Persevere to achieve perfection in one of the three versions of Paschimottanasana which is convenient to you. The spinal cord endures a lot of forced pressure in this exercise; hence in the beginning a trainee should not compel oneself beyond one’s capacity. Post enough practice, this asana becomes effortless. Repeat this posture for three to five times.
Benefits: Paschimottanasana has long term benefits on the spinal cord. Daily practice keeps the spinal cord flexible which in turn aids in old age to stand, sit and walk erect. It helps prevent spinal cord problems, back-ache, abdominal diseases, liver diseases and breathing abnormalities. It is also useful in getting rid of obesity. This yoga exercises lessens the chances of kidney stones and avoid breathing problems. Paschimottanasana aids in keeping away diabetes. This yoga exercise prevents cold, cough, asthma, bronchitis, gonorrhoea, impotency, rheumatoid arthritis, digestive weaknesses, constipation and piles.