1. Prepare a padded surface, such as a yoga mat or a folded blanket or towel. Begin in the ‘Downward Facing Dog Pose’, but on an exhalation, step your right foot forwards so that it is placed between your hands. Next lower your left knee to the floor and slide it backwards until you feel a mild stretch in the front of your left thigh and your groin.
2. On an inhalation lift your torso upright, and simultaneously bring your arms up so they are perpendicular to the floor. Lift your chest forwards and upwards, and firm your shoulder-blades against the back of your torso.
3. Tilt your head gently backwards, bringing your gaze upwards, being careful not to crunch the back of your neck.
4. Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, or several breaths, increasing the duration as your ability increases. On an exhalation return your hands to the floor and release the pose. Repeat on the other side for a similar duration.
This pose stretches the thighs, groin, hips abdomen and chest, and strengthens the muscles of the legs and abdomen. Mastery of this pose improves posture and balance, helps to relieve backache, as well as increasing energy and counteracting depression. It can also help to relieve the symptoms of sciatica.
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