Step by step
- Lie on your stomach, on the forearms, elbows underneath the shoulders.
- Firm the pubic bone down and draw your belly in.
- Cross the left forearm in front of the body. Bend your right knee and reach back with the right hand to hold the top of your foot, pulling the foot in towards the outside of your right hip.
- Soften the top of the right thigh, turn the fingers towards the front if possible, turn the right side body towards the front as well.
- Stay connected with the breath.
- Stay for 5 breaths before releasing the foot and slowly lowering it to the ground.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- You can support the lift of your upper torso by using a bolster under your chest.
- If you can’t reach behind you to catch your foot, use a strap looped around your foot.
- Stretches the thigh muscles and hip flexors.
- Increases the flexibility in the back.
- Opens the chest and shoulders.
- Stimulates your energy.
- Prepares the body for back bending.
- Great stretch for runners and cyclists.
Watch out for
- Keep your knee in line with your hip
- If your knee hurts, ease up on the pose a little, don’t press too hard with your hand. You should feel a stretch in the belly of the thigh muscle and not around the knee joint.
- Avoid slumping into the shoulder of the front arm, keep the base of the neck relaxed.
- If your quadriceps (front of thighs) are flexible enough you can change your hand position to deepen the stretch. Swing your hand around so that your fingers are facing you. Your elbow moves up and you can press down more into the foot.
- To increase it further you can try to come a little higher by arching the upper body up slightly further.
Text and image: Ekhartyoga.com.