This pose requires hamstring, lat, and hip flexibility.
- Start sitting on the ground cross-legged with strap off to one side. Make sure there is a loop in strap that your foot will fit into.
- Keep left leg in the crossed position, pick right leg up and backpack it over right shoulder. The higher you can get the thigh over your shoulder, the easier it will be to get into the pose. If your leg doesn’t get up near your shoulder, continue to practice opening up your hips before you go further in this pose.
- If you are ready to continue, keep right leg over right shoulder, take loop in strap and loop it over right foot. Hold strap in left hand and place right hand on the floor outside of right hip.
- Straighten out right arm so that it presses right thigh open. Holding strap, lift left hand out above head and straighten arm. Inhale and begin to straighten out left leg as much as you can while keeping chest lifted and maintaining breath. Hold for 8 breaths and then gently release to switch sides.
Tip: If you want to go further into the pose, walk your left hand closer to your foot on the strap. You can also play around with taking your gaze up and under your left armpit.
- Start sitting on the ground cross-legged. Backpack right thigh over right shoulder.
- Place right hand on the ground to press thigh open. Grab right foot with left hand. Keep left arm straight and straighten out right leg.
- Keep spine long and chest lifted the entire time to keep low back from rounding. Hold for 8 breaths and then gently release to switch sides.
This pose requires opening through the back, belly, and shoulders. While it stretches your belly, you need to engage your abs the entire time to protect your lower back from injury.
- Kneel down with knees hip-width distance. Place blocks on either side of ankles (either on the widest or shortest side, whichever is comfortable). Take hands onto low back with fingertips pointing down. Squeeze shoulder blades and thighs towards one another. Engage low belly and lift heart towards the ceiling.
- Try to keep hips stacked over knees the entire time. Inhale, lift chest and press hands down against low back as you take your gaze up to the sky. Keep a slight tuck of your chin as you make your way into a backbend.
- Take right hand off the low back and place on the block next to right ankle. Then take left hand off the low back and place it on the other block. With each inhale, fill up belly and lift chest higher. With each exhale, pull belly in tight to keep abs engaged. Hold for 8 breaths.
- Take right hand to low back, followed by left hand. Use the strength of your abs to lift chest over hips. Bring legs together and sit back on heels for a few breaths.
- Kneel down with knees hip-width distance. Take hands to low back and tuck toes.
- Engage abs and press down against low back as you inhale and lift chest. Walk gaze along the ceiling moving into a backbend.
- Take right hand to right heel and then left hand to left heel. Keep breath strong, belly engaged, and keep a slight tuck of your chin. Hold for 8 breaths.
- Take right hand to low back and repeat on left side. Use the strength of your abs to lift chest over hips. Bring legs together and sit back on heels.
Tip: If you feel open in the advanced version and want to take it deeper, you can untuck your toes.