Objective:

To stretch the spine, shoulders, pelvis, and hamstrings. It also stimulates and balances the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, also improving digestion and appetite

Safety Instruction and Technique:

  1. Sit on the edge of a yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you. Reach actively through your heels. Beginners should bend their knees throughout the pose, eventually straightening the legs as flexibility increases.
  2. Inhale as you reach your arms out to the side, and then up overhead, lengthening your spine.
  3. Exhaling, bend forward from the hip joints. Do not bend at the waist. Lengthen the front of your torso.
  4. Imagine your torso coming to rest on your thighs, instead of tipping your nose toward your knees.
  5. Hold onto your shins, ankles, or feet — wherever your flexibility permits.
  6. Keep the front of your torso long; do not round your back. Let your belly touch your legs first, and then your chest. Your head and nose should touch your legs last.
  7. With each inhalation, lengthen the front torso. With each exhalation, fold a bit deeper.
  8. Hold for up to one minute. To release the pose, draw your tailbone towards the floor as you inhale and lift your torso.

Note:  If you have limited flexibility, you can also wrap a yoga strap or towel around the soles of your feet, holding it firmly with both hands.