- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width. Turn your left foot in slightly then turn your right foot out 90 degrees so your right heel lines up with your left arch.
- Raise your arms out to the sides to shoulder level, palms down. Keep your arms straight throughout the exercise.
- Now inhale deeply as you turn your head to look at your left hand.
- Exhale as you bend to the right, moving your hips to the left. Bring your hand to your shin, your ankle, or the floor. Reach your left arm straight up. Hold for 5to 30 seconds, breathing evenly.
- Come back to the upright position by first exhaling as you contract your buttocks, then inhaling as you reach up through your left arm and raise your torso.
- Turn your feet to face forward. If you like, lower your arms and rest a moment.
- Repeat the entire sequence on the other side.
- For a strong stance, contract your thighs and buttocks and press your feet firmly and evenly into the floor.
- Feel free to experiment with the width of your stance. A wider stance will make it easier to bend sideways. If your legs are tighter, a narrower stance will be more comfortable, though you won’t be able to bend to the side as far—but that doesn’t matter.
- Consciously stretch and lengthen both sides of your torso.
- Don’t bend forward in an attempt to get your hand closer to the floor; remember, this is a side bend.
- Keep your hips facing forward as much as possible.
- Rest your hand on a block.
- Practice with your back against a wall.
- If your neck is uncomfortable while you are looking up at your hand, look straight ahead or down at the floor instead.
- Bend your front knee as you lift up out of the pose.
- Increases overall strength and flexibility
- Helps improve posture
- Helps relieve backache
- Helps ease menstrual discomfort
- Promotes the health of the reproductive system
- Stimulates the nervous system