Stand along the long edge of the mat with feet wide apart, about the length of your leg. Turn the right foot out 90 degrees and turn the left foot in about 45 degrees. Distribute the weight evenly over the feet. Roll the right thigh out so the right knee is in line with the toes. Draw the stomach in and up, inhale and lift your arms parallel to the floor and extend through the fingertips as you exhale. Inhale and reach to the right extending your body over the right leg. Exhale as you bring your right arm down and place your hand where it reaches (either on the leg, foot, floor or a block on the floor). Point the other arm straight up to the ceiling with the hand in line with the shoulder and the palm facing forward. Keep the neck in line with the spine. Look straight forward and tuck the chin in slightly. Turn to look towards the left hand.
To come out press your feet firmly into the floor, inhale and reach your left arm up to the ceiling as you come back to standing straight. Pivot your heels so you reverse the orientation of your feet to the other side and repeat on the left.
Props & Assistance:
Place the hand on a block if it is difficult to reach the floor but it is fine to rest the back of the hand against any point in the leg.
For more experienced students, align the front heel with the back foot arch.
Follow up poses:
•seated forward bends
•Stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles
•Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine
•Stimulates the abdominal organs
•Helps relieve stress
•Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
•Relieves backache, especially in second trimester of pregnancy
•Therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain, osteoporosis, and sciatica
•Low blood pressure
•High blood pressure
•Neck problems - look straight ahead
•If you are thinking of starting yoga and have a medical condition, it is advisable to check with your doctor.