Many yoga poses are practiced with stillness, but this doesn’t mean they’re effortless. In “motionless” postures like this one, for example, your body actually contracts, expands, and stretches, quietly increasing your strength and stamina.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Inhale as you swing your arms forward, then back, making fists around your thumbs.
- Exhale, slowly bending from the hips. Bend your knees to about 45 degrees and extend your arms alongside your ears. Come down until your torso is parallel to the floor. Look down so that the back of your head is aligned with your spine. Stretch your buttocks back as you reach your arms forward. Keep your arms lifted and your elbows straight. Do abdominal breathing as you hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Exhale completely, then inhale as you lift up, arms above your head.
- Exhale as you lower your arms to your sides.
Focus on lengthening your spine forward while moving your buttocks back. To make the pose more challenging, deepen the bend in your knees. Keep your weight evenly balanced over your feet.
- If you can’t get your spine parallel to the floor, extend it up diagonally instead.
- Place your forearms on a table, then walk your feet back and bend your knees. As this becomes easier, lessen the weight on your arms.
- Builds stamina
- Strengthens your arm, leg, and back muscles
- Increases flexibility in your hips, back, and shoulders
- Oxygenates your blood and increases circulation
- Promotes mental calm and clarity