I shared a story last week asking which one of the 2 poses is the most correct alignment for Paschimottanasana... A or B?
Perhaps, I've been a little sly, to offer a choice suggests picking between the 2.
In fact, both approach and alignments are viable options for a Forward Fold
What it comes down to is your intent as the two have very different effects to the body.
'A' probably feels more active & strong whilst 'B' is likely to feel more passive & relaxing. Try to bring your awareness to the sensation across the back body; energetically - 'A' would feel like it's converging at the lower back area, in contrast to 'B' which may feel like it’s extending from feet to beyond the spine.
You may want to take Pose A when you wish to work on the hamstrings without moving too much of the spine.
While Pose B, akin to a yin pose, is great for releasing, across the entire back line of the body. The common problem is that we simply flop over, in such instances, the movement may end up limited to only the upper spine area. You want to involve the entire spine; throw the sit-bones back & tip your weight forwards to mobilise the entire spine, allowing it to cascade forward from base to the top.
The moral of the story is that there’s no single alignment for any pose or 1 method is better than another - we take different versions to achieve different results. Try to mix it up so you’re getting the different benefits from just a single pose - I've added some instructions below for transitioning to both so you can try them yourself. Enjoy!
A shorter version of this post appears on my Instagram on 29 August 2020, click on icons below to follow me!
Hongyi the yogi
Full-time yoga teacher & trainee yoga therapist in London. Eager to share, eager to learn!