1) Lie on your belly with hands alongside your torso, palms up. Exhale & bend your knees, bringing your heels as close as you can to your buttocks. Reach back with your hands & take hold of your ankles (but not the tops of the feet). Make sure your knees aren’t wider than the width of your hips, & keep your knees hip width for the duration of the pose.
2) Inhale & strongly lift your heels away from your buttocks &, at the same time, lift your thighs away from the floor. This will have the effect of pulling your upper torso & head off the floor. Burrow the tailbone down toward the floor, & keep your back muscles soft. As you continue lifting the heels & thighs higher, press your shoulder blades firmly against your back to open your heart. Draw the tops of the shoulders away from your ears. Gaze forward.
3) With the belly pressed against the floor, breathing will be difficult. Breathe more into the back of your torso, & be sure not to stop breathing.
4) Stay in this pose for 10 to 30 seconds. Release as you exhale. Lie quietly for a few breaths. Repeat twice more.
- Stretches entire front of body
- Stretches ankles, thighs, groins, abdomen, chest, throat & deep hip flexors (psoas)
- Strengthens the back muscles
- Improves posture
- Stimulates organs of the abdomen