This classic yoga pose develops strength and stamina and is good for building strong bones.
If you have heart or circulation problems like high blood pressure, practice with your hands on your hips.
- Stand with your feet wide apart. Raise your arms to the sides to shoulder level, palms down.
- Turn your left foot in slightly and your right foot out 90 degrees, then inhale as you rotate your torso to the right. Make sure both hips face the same direction as your right foot. Turn your left foot in a little more if you need to.
- Exhale as you bend your right knee until your shin is perpendicular to the floor. Keep your right knee in line with your right hip.
- Inhale as you raise your arms above your head, bringing your palms together. Press both feet into the floor evenly and keep your left leg straight. Lift your chest, lengthening your spine. If comfortable, tilt your head back and look up at your hands. Breathe slowly and deeply as you hold for 5 to 30 seconds. If you feel your lower back is overarching, slightly tuck your buttocks.
- To come out of the pose, look forward, then lower your arms to the sides to shoulder level. Inhale, straightening your right leg. Turn your feet and torso to face forward and lower your arms to your sides.
- Repeat on the other side, then walk your feet together and relax.
- Consciously press your feet firmly and evenly into the floor as you lengthen your spine, reaching your arms upward.
- Be careful when you tilt your head back. If you do it too quickly, without focusing on keeping the pose stable, you may lose your balance.
- Don’t overextend your neck backward. Also, return your neck to an upright position if it gets tired or uncomfortable.
- Lift up from your lower back by moving your rib cage up, outward, and away from your hips.
- If you get short of breath, come out of the pose and rest.
- Practice with your hands on your hips.
- Instead of bringing your palms together, keep your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your elbows instead of keeping them straight.
- Don’t tilt your head back.
- Helps builds stamina
- Promotes deep breathing
- Helps improve balance and concentration
- Loosens the shoulders, hips, and groin
- Helps relieve tension in the neck and lower back
- Strengthens the legs, back, and arms