- Stand straight with your feet together, in tāḍāsana
- Bend the right knee and grab hold of the right inner ankle
- Lift your left arm up and slowly bend forward
- Simultaneously, lift the right foot up away from your buttocks
- Stay for 5 breaths
- Repeat on the other side
Start by standing straight with the feet together, in tāḍāsana. Press all four corners of the feet into the ground, ensuring a stable base. Bend the right knee and grab hold of the inner ankle. Ensure that the fingers are pointing away from the body. Bring the knees together. Lift your left arm up and stretch it out. Slowly start bending forward and extend the arm forward. At the same time, lift the right foot up away from the buttocks, by pushing the right foot into the hand. This lifts the leg up and creates an arch in the spine. Find a balance between bending forward and down, and lifting the leg up higher from behind. Ensure that the hips stay parallel to each other and parallel to the floor. Stretch the sternum up while drawing the shoulders down, opening the chest. Breathe deeply in and out through the nose for 5 to 10 breaths. To release, lower the arm down and lower the right leg down. Then repeat on the other side.
As a variation to this posture you can also grab the foot with both hands, and lifting the foot up away from the body. This gives a deep stretch to the chest and adds an extra balancing challenge. Another variation would be to grab hold of the big toe with your index finger, middle finger and thumb wrapped around it. Bend your elbow, and as you lift the foot up, turn the elbow outward and finally pointing up- bringing the arm up all the way over the head. This variation requires great flexibility of the shoulder joint.
One of the major benefits of this asana is that helps in strengthening the thighs, calves and ankles. It elongates the spine through upward extension, thereby stretching the abdomen and chest. It stretches the hip flexors, groin and thighs. It has great mental benefits too as it increases one’s concentration and balance capacity.
The contraindications for this pose are ankle injuries. If you have a recent ankle injury you can use the help of a wall for your balance, by resting the stretched arm against the wall. This gives added support and reduces the pressure on the standing-leg ankle.
- Strengthens the thighs, knees, calves, ankles
- Stretches the hip flexors, thighs, groin and abdomen
- Stretches Spine
- Improves concentration and balance
- Helps in grounding your energy
- Ankle injuries
- Tones quadriceps
- Stretches the pectoralis major
- Stretches rectus abdominis
- Stretches psoas major