Forward fold, uttanasana, bringing breath into each vertebrae and allowing it to release. You are still reaping the same benefits if, your head is reaching behind you, or if you are barely hinging at the waist.
The benefit of this pose comes through the breath and the submission. This is actually required if you have any desire to be comfortable while doing it! Sometimes people push it and only think of their discomfort, thus increasing their discomfort. Sometimes even through breath you can hear discomfort or force. Especially, when I have taught yoga to kids, I have HEARD of their struggle to stay in this pose, imagine that! (I love their self expression.) They struggle instead of allowing this pose to take place, to bring breath into the spine and to create space. It's kind of like when my husband and I drive by a runner and we declare either, "have to" or "want to." Its true! You can tell by body language, and sometimes by body noises, and sometimes even by the way they breath, what is driving a person. When we accept and allow and decide to breathe through it, the pose changes. To me it becomes something of necessity, to create space and to realign my spine. No matter what your forward fold looks like remember to breath and allow and that you are getting the same thing from the pose as the person that is kissing the floor!
Off the mat it reminds me of creating space in life for what should be there. The breaths to get to it are the quiet moments where decision happens.