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This pose stretches and strengthens the hamstrings, calves, hips, low back, and spine. The various arm positions stretch your shoulders, wrists, forearms, and upper back
Those with back injuries should not fold completely forward, but should practice a modified version of the pose.
Instructions: •Bring your hands to your hips. Turn to the left and step your feet wide apart. Turn your toes slightly in and your heels slightly out so the edges of your feet are parallel to the edges of your mat. Align your heels. •Inhale and lengthen your torso, reaching the crown of your head up toward the ceiling. Exhaling, fold forward at the hips. Keep the front of your torso long. Drop your head and gaze softly behind you. •Bring your hands to rest on the floor between your legs. Keep your elbows bent and pointing behind you. If your hands do not come to the floor, rest them on yoga blocks. •Shift your weight slightly forward onto the balls of your feet. •Keep your hips aligned with your ankles, then walk your hands back even further. Work toward bringing your fingers in line with your toes (and eventually with your heels), and bringing your elbows directly above your wrists. •Strongly engage your quadriceps and draw them up toward the ceiling. •Lengthen your spine on your inhalations and fold deeper on your exhalations. •Bring the crown of your head down further, resting it on the floor if possible. •Hold for up to one minute. To release, bring your hands to your hips. Press firmly through your feet and inhale to lift your torso with a flat back. Step your feet together and return to Mountain Pose.
Modifications: •If your hands don't easily reach the floor, place each hand on a yoga block. •If your head comes easily to the floor, narrow your stance. •If your hamstrings are very tight, bend your knees. •For a restorative version of the pose, rest your head on a yoga block or bolster
TAG-SAVE-SHARE with a yoga buddy