Benefits: Strengthen the legs, stretches the groins, hamstrings, hips, opens the chest and shoulders. Can help relieve back pain.
1. From Warrior II, straighten your front leg (the right leg in this case).
2. Begin the reach the right arm forward, drawing the right thigh upwards and tucking the hip at you come forward.
3. Drop the right hand down onto your shin or ankle, or if you are more open, onto the floor inside or outside the right foot. Do whichever one feels most comfortable.
4. The left shoulder stacks on top of the right one as you open the chest reaching the left fingertips upwards while keeping the left shoulder rooted in the socket.
5. Take your gaze up toward the left fingertips.
6. Draw the right thigh muscle upwards, deepening the right hip crease.
7. Microbend the right knee.
8. Stack the left hip on top of the left.
9. Repeat on the left side.
Beginners: Bring the right hand higher up on your leg or use a block on the floor to rest your hand on. It is more important to keep the right leg straight than to bring the right hand to the floor. Do not rest the hand directly on the knee, though, as this creates too much pressure on the knee.
Advanced: Line up the right heel with the arch of the left foot. For a variation, try dropping the left arm over the left ear so it comes parallel to the floor, while keeping the shoulder rooting into the socket.