Strengthens the legs; opens the hips; offers a lateral stretch
- Stretches the ankles, knees, hamstrings, thighs, groins, hips, shoulder, chest, spine.
- Strengthens the legs and ankles, the sides and abdominals
- Increases balance and assists digestion
Jump or step your feet 3-4 ft apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly- the heel of your right foot is aligned with the inner arch of your left foot. Inhale; raise your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Lift your knee caps and firm your thighs. Exhale; reach out through the fingertips and lift your ribcage up out of your hips. Lower your shoulders away from your ears.
Inhale; shift your hips to the left as you lengthen your torso to the right, lengthening both sides of your body equally. Exhale, take your right hand to your right leg/ankle/or floor, wherever is comfortable (avoid the knee); your left arm and hand are reaching up towards the ceiling. Take your left ribs back behind you and spiral your right ribs forward and up.
Inhale and exhale, opening/broadening your chest a little more on every exhalation. Your head is neutral or looking towards the fingertips of your left hand. Hold for 5-15breaths.
To come out of the pose: ground down into your feet and keep your legs and torso firm; draw your navel in strongly. Inhale, leading with your left fingertips, lift your torso to come back up to stand.
Repeat on opposite side.
Modifications & Variations
– If you are finding it hard to balance, you can practice the pose with your back to a wall. This will also assist in bringing you into the correct alignment.
– Place a block, the back of a chair, or the seat of your chair under your lower hand to help you come in to the pose. Press down into the prop as you lift through your top hand.