1. Begin by standing with feet 3-4 feet apart with your feet parallel to each other and your knees unbent, with your hands resting on your hips.
2. Exhale, and then lean your torso forward from the hips. As your torso becomes parallel to the floor, press your hands/fingertips onto the floor directly below your shoulders, with your arms fully extended. Your arms and legs should then be parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor. Make your spine slightly concave from your tailbone to the base of your skull.
3. Maintaining the shape of your back, slowly shift your fingertips between your feet. Exhale, then bend your elbows and lower your torso and head into a complete forward bend, making sure you keep your torso as long as possible. If you are able to, rest the crown of your head on the floor.
4. Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, increasing the duration as your ability increases. Inhale to come up out of this pose, and push down firmly into the floor with both heels, reaching towards the ceiling to lighten the upward movement and maintain balance.
This pose strengthens and stretches the muscles of the legs, the back, the abdominals and the spine. Mastery of this pose improves posture and balance and stimulates the organs of the abdomen, while improving strength and stamina and helping to relieve stress and fatigue.
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