- Opens up the hips.
- Stretches the ankles, calves, knees, groin, hamstrings and glutes.
- Strengthens the feet and ankles.
- Can help to alleviate lower back pain.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Inhale, sweep your arms out and up. Exhale, swan dive down into Standing Forward Bend.
- Heel-toe your feet to the edges of your mat, bend your knees and come down into a squat.
- Bring your upper body in between your thighs and touch your palms together.
- Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, press your triceps against your knees to open up your hips.
- Hold the pose for 5-10 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
- To come out of the pose, bring your hands behind you and sit back on the mat, or come up to standing with a flat back.
- If you have tight ankles, calves or hamstrings and your heels don’t reach the ground, you can stay up on your toes with your heels lifted or support them on a cushion.
- If it is tight hips that are getting in your way, bring your feet out wider and point them out more.
VARIATION: Squat Twist
- Bring your right hand flat to the mat. Inhale, sweep your left hand up to the sky – look up to your fingertips. Twist from the base of your spine.
- Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths, in and out through your nose. On an exhalation, bring your left hand down and switch sides. Inhale, sweep your right hand up to the sky. Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths.
- Release the pose on an exhalation.
- Avoid this pose if you have an ankle, hip or knee injury.