The wide legged forward bend pose is very straight forward, but like most yoga poses, it can be challenging at first. This pose particularly challenges the hamstrings, gluteus muscles (aka butt muscles), lower back and shoulders. By first mastering the wide legged forward bend pose, you will better prepare yourself for the very challenging and advanced shoulder stand pose.
First of all, you will want to work on the positioning of your feet. Depending on your height and flexibility, you will position your feet closer or further apart. Your feet should be between 3-4 feet apart (the taller you are, the wider you should position your feet). Feel free to experiment with your positioning and know that this is completely flexible. After you have placed your feet at a distance in which you feel comfortable, take a deep breath and slowly bend from your hips and reach your head to the ground.
As you bend, you will want to support your upper body with your hands, arms, and shoulders. Reach your hands down to rest on either side of your head. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor while your elbows create a 90 degree angle. Depending on your flexibility, your head may not reach the floor completely. In that case, you can let your head dangle if it feels comfortable on your back, but do not lose the stiffness in your upper body. Your upper body should be engaged at all times in the pose.
As you bend, really concentrate on lifting your hips upward while folding your upper body downward to the ground. This stretching in opposite directions will be difficult, but is necessary to achieve the full results of the pose. Let yourself relax in the pose as long as it feels comfortable-- no more than 30 seconds. Breathe deeply as you unfold and return to a standing position. Bring your feet back in together to rest under your body and lift your hands above your head to stretch your back and shoulders.