1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bring your hands to the ground beside your hips and lift up tall through your spine.
2. Open your right leg out to the side, followed by your left leg, so that your legs are wide. Reach through your heels and press your thigh bones gently toward the ground.
3. With an inhalation, lengthen your spine up and lift your breast bone away from your navel. Leading with your chest, exhale and fold forward at your hips. Place your hands on the ground in front of you.
4. Pause here. Then inhale to lengthen your spine and create more space between the breast bone and navel. Be sure that your legs are still strong. If there is room, let your exhalation take you deeper into your fold, stretching your arms out in front of you.
5. Hold for 5 – 10 breaths, letting the breath move easily and comfortably. Inhale and, leading with your chest, lift up and come out of the fold.
Tightness in the legs, hips, and groin can often limit the degree to which one can fold in this posture. This tightness can cause your chest to collapse (meaning that the space between your breast bone and navel shortens) and your spine to round. If you find this happening, come up and out of the fold. Then, bring a block to the ground in front of you and place your hands on the block. Work here on creating length in your spine and openness in your front body. At the same time, work slowly on lengthening your leg muscles. Be mindful not to force your fold, as this can bring strain to the legs and lower back. Listen to your breath and let it guide you.
Stretches the hamstrings, inner legs, and back body; increases circulation to the pelvic region; helps to regularize menstrual flow; calms the nerves and quiets the mind; helps to reduce migraine headaches.