This pose stretches your entire body, from your back to your calves, while also playing an important detoxifying role. It improves digestion, relieves stress and reduces back pain.
HOW TO DO IT: Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with big toes touching, heels slightly apart. Step out three-and-a-half to four feet. Raise your arms out to the side until they are parallel with the floor, actively reaching them out to the sides, palms down. Turn your right foot in a little and your left foot out 90 degrees. Your heels should line up, as should your left kneecap and your left ankle. Bend to the left from your hip joint so your torso is directly over your left leg. Tilt your tailbone down and lengthen your spine. If you feel unsteady, try this against a wall for support. Rest your left hand on your shin, ankle or the floor, and stretch your right hand toward the ceiling. If you want more of a stretch, interlock your fingers, releasing and pointing your index fingers, and actively stretch to the left. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position or look up at the sky. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat the pose on the other side, remembering to breathe in and out of your nose the entire time.
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