Balance may be tricky in this asana, so concentrate! You can place a firm cushion under your buttocks for comfort, and if your hamstrings are tight, you might want to get a couple of straps before you start.
- Sit with legs extended.
- Bring the soles of your feet together and wrap your index and middle fingers around your big toes.
- Inhale, lift your spine and lean back slightly.
- Draw your abdominal muscles in as you exhale and open your legs to the sides, balancing on your buttocks. Straighten your knees and activate your thigh muscles so you feel your legs working. Breathe slowly and deeply as you hold for up to 90 seconds.
- With an exhalation, bend your knees and lower your feet. Release your toes. Bring your legs to one side and sit comfortably to relax.
- Sit on a firm cushion for a little extra padding.
- Hold onto your shins instead of holding your big toes.
- Wrap a strap around each foot before you come into the pose.
- If your hamstrings are really tight and you can’t straighten your legs without losing your balance, practice with bent knees.
- Contract your thigh muscles, keeping your legs straight and strong.
- Flex your feet, activating the muscles of your inner legs so you stretch your legs evenly.
- Keep your lower back lifted and your abdominal muscles pulled in slightly. This will keep you from rolling back.
- Lift your chest while pressing your shoulders down and back.
- Balance as far forward on your buttocks as you can.
- Stretches your hamstrings and inner thighs
- Strengthens your back muscles
- Tones your abdominal muscles and organs, including the liver
- Tones your nervous system
- Improves balance and concentration