- Sit with your legs together, in daṇḍāsana
- Open your legs wide apart
- Inhale lift your arms up
- Exhale as you bend forward from your hips
- Hold on to your big toes
- Stay for 10 breaths
- Inhale and slowly come up
Start by sitting straight with your legs together, in daṇḍāsana. Take your legs as wide apart as they can go, without bending the knees. If this causes a lot of strain, you can sit on a pillow to have the hips elevated. Flex your feet by pulling the toes back, and pushing the heels out. Take a deep inhalation as you raise your arms up over your head, lengthening the spine. Exhale as you come forward and down, bending from the hips. Ensure that you are not bending from any other part of the back, or rounding the upper back here. Reach out with your arms and grab onto your big toes, with your thumbs and index and middle fingers. If you don’t reach your toes, you can also hold on to the ankles. Lengthen the spine and then bring the chin on the floor, if it reaches. Stay here for ten to fifteen breaths, and on an inhalation come up again.
As a variation to this posture you can bring both hands to one leg, grabbing onto the foot and resting the chin on the knee. Stay there for ten breaths and then come up and do the other side. Another variation is to keep the arms stretched out in front of you. Slide them forward on the ground as far as possible and rest your chin on the floor.
One of the benefits of this posture is that it stretches the legs. In particular the hamstrings, thigh adductors and calves. It opens the hips and stretches the groins, helping to circulate blood in the pelvic region. This posture is said to be beneficial to women as it stimulates the ovaries and helps with menstrual irregularities. It also elongates the spine and gives a stretch to the back.
The contraindications for this pose are back, knee and groin injuries. You can consider sitting on two blankets, a cushion or a block to raise the hips and prevent over stretching the inner groins. If you have knee injuries then keep your knees slightly bend, to avoid pressure on them.
- Stretches the hamstrings, inner thighs and calves
- Open the Hips
- Lengthens the spine
Stimulates the ovaries
- Knee injuries / Back injuries / Groin injuries
- Stretches thigh adductors
- Eccentric contraction of gluteus muscles
- Stretches hamstrings