Caution: If you have high blood pressure, do this pose as recommended under Easier Options, bullet 2.
- Stand up straight and touch your fingertips in front of your chest.
- Step or jump your feet fairly wide apart, extending your arms to the sides at shoulder level.
- Expand your chest as you inhale and interlock your fingers behind your back. Exhale.
- Inhale as you lift your chin, arch your spine, and gently raise your arms behind you.
- Exhale as you contract your abdomen and slowly bend forward from the hips. Come down as far as you can without straining. Bend your knees if you need to. Stretch your arms back from the shoulders, then move them over your head toward the ground. Otherwise just lift them gently. Breathe slowly and deeply as you hold for up to 20 seconds.
- Exhale, contracting your abs.
- Inhale as you reach up through the arms and raise your torso, keeping your back straight.
- Bring your arms to your sides and relax your entire body.
- Keep your back flat and long as you bend forward, aiming to bring your abdomen close to your thighs before lowering your head.
Choose one or more of the following:
- If your body is stiff, keep your knees bent. This takes pressure off the lower back and hamstrings.
- Just bend forward a little until your torso is at about a 45 degree angle from the floor. This position is suitable for those who have heart and circulation problems and shouldn’t lower the head below the heart.
- Hold the pose for just a few seconds.
- Instead of coming up with a straight back, roll up, keeping your abs contracted.
- Makes you more alert
- Calms the nervous system
- Eases back and shoulder tension
- Stretches your legs, hips, spine, and shoulders
- Loosens tight chest muscles