- Sit on your mat
- Bring your legs forward and straight, feet together
- Inhale raise your arms up
- Exhale and bend forward and down
- Lengthen the spine
- Hold the sides of your feet with your hands
- Stay for 5 breaths
Start by sitting down on your mat. Bring your legs forward and sit on your sitting bones. It is important to sit fully on the sitting bones and you can do so by moving the flesh of the buttocks away to the sides, away from each other. Have full awareness of the sitting bones pressing down into the ground. Keep your feet together and ensure that the legs are straight. Press the femurs down by pressing the thighs down into the floor. Lift the kneecaps up and press the back of the knees into the floor. Turn the thighs slightly inward to assist in the pressing down action. Keep the ankles together and the feet together. Push your heels out, while you pull the toes back in, keeping the feet fully active. Lengthen your spine upward and lift your sternum up. On an inhalation, lift your arms up and stretch up. Then exhale and bend forward and down. Grab hold of the sides of your feet, if you can reach. Keep the neck aligned with the spine, by either looking forward at the toes, or if possible you can place the forehead down on your shins. Keep working on lengthening the spine by drawing the sternum forward, and away from the pelvis. Avoid rounding the upper back and forcing to bend down too deep. Keep the spine straight and remember that the forward bend comes from the hips and not from the upper back. Stay for 10-15 deep breaths and come back up on an inhalation.
If you have tight hamstrings you can sit on a folded blanket. The raised hips will assist in the pose and reduce pressure on the hamstrings and back. It will allow you to sit more comfortably. If you can’t reach your feet with your hands, then use a strap around the feet. Avoid overextending the spine and thereby rounding the back to go down. Keep the spine lengthened and come forward only as far as the body allows. As an advanced variation, you can grab hold of one of your wrists on the other side of the feet.
This asana tones the inner organs and works as a detox, by the gentle compression of the abdomen. It also tones the kidneys, improves digestion and stimulates the ovaries. It stretches the hamstrings, the calves and the groins. It lengthens the spine and stretches the kidney area. It is a calming and cooling pose for the mind and helps with relieving depression, anxiety and fatigue. It is stimulating and rejuvenating, and helps to increase vitality.
The contra indications are slip disc and sciatica. Use blankets as a support to sit on, and a strap around the feet to avoid bending down to deep. Those with sciatica can also place a bolster on their lap, with a pillow or block on top, and rest the forehead down as a gentle and calming variation.
- Stretches the hamstrings, calves
- Tones inner organs
- Lengthens the spine
Rejuvenates and increases vitality
- Slip Disc / Sciatia / Back injuries
- Stretches Spinal Erector Muscles
- Stretches gluteus maximus muscle
- Stretches hamstrings