This is an easy pose to start opening up your hips and legs for more advanced poses like Tortoise pose or Tittibhasana. It provides a nice stretch in your hamstrings and relaxes the back.
Start in Tadasana standing at the middle of the mat turned so you have the length of the mat on each side of you.
Step or gently jump your feet out wide.
Turn your toes slightly pointing inwards.
Place your hands on your hips. Press the outside of the feet down to the ground throughout this pose so you can see the arch of your foot being lifted and activated.
Start folding your upper body forwards and down as deep as you can.
Release your hands to the ground underneath your face.
Activate the muscles in your legs, lift up your kneecaps and lift the sitting bones a little higher. This helps your pelvis to tilt a little further forwards which in turn folds your upper body deeper and the crown of the head closer to the ground.
Place your hands so you have foot-hand-hand-foot alignment. Drop your head down in between your hands, maybe even the crown of your head touches the floor. Elbows are pointing back, bent in a 90 degree angle.
Beginner: Place your hands on a block if you yet can’t reach the floor.
Intermediate: If you want to sink deeper in this pose grab your index and middle finger around your big toes and splay the elbows out to the sides. Let your head drop down to the floor.
- Stretches the hamstrings and lower back.
- Encourages flexibility in the hips.
- Calms the nervous system, reduces stress and anxiety.
- Good for people with collapsing arches in their feet due to the activation of the outer side of the feet.
- Avoid this pose if you suffer from any hamstring injuries or lower back/disk problems.
- Avoid this pose if you suffer from high blood pressure.