- Strengthens the legs, hips, back and shoulders
- Increases flexibility in the hips and shoulders
- Calms the nervous system if held with deep slow breathing
- Balance – use props like the back heel supported by a wall, chair back for front hand or wall to lean against
- High blood pressure – don’t hold too long
- Shoulder pain – keep hands on hips
- Knee pain – if you are safely aligned and experience knee pain, come out of the pose
Let’s Try It
- Stand facing the long side of your mat with your feet parallel.
- Extend your arms out in line with your shoulders and step your feet to line up with your hands or as near as comfortable.
- Now place your hands on your hips.
- Rotate your right leg out 90 degrees so the foot is parallel to the long sides of the mat.
- Feel the direction your left hip has turned to and adjust your left foot slightly inwards to follow the turn of your hip.
- Bend your right knee until the shin is perpendicular and directly above the ankles.
- Check your hips again. This time one hand to the front of the pelvis and one to the back. Is your pelvis straight up and down? If not, shorten your stance.
- Reach your arms up next to your ears, palms facing each other and lengthen the torso.
- Lower your arms to shoulder height in line with your hips and shoulders. Release your shoulders and turn your palms to face the floor.
- Gaze to the right and hold for 5 or more breaths.
- Repeat on the other side.
Things to watch for
- The weight even on both feet
- The torso not tilting forward or inwards
- The core engaged lightly
- Knee not knocking inwards
- Breath deep and slow
- If you feel any pain, come out of the pose
By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training