Benefits: Strengthens the legs, opens the chest and shoulders
1. From Downward Facing Dog, bring the right foot forward next to the right hand.
2. Pivot on the ball of the left foot and drop the left heel on to the floor with the toes turned out about 45 degrees from the heel.
3. Bend the right knee directly over the right ankle, so that your thigh is parallel to the floor.
4. Draw the right hip back and the left hip forward, so that the hips are squared to the front.
5. Bring the arms out to the side and up.
6. Bring your palms to touch and gaze up toward the thumbs, coming into a slight backbend.
7. Slide the shoulder blades down the back.
Repeat on the left side.
Beginners: Step the left foot out toward the left side of the mat a bit to allow more room for the hips to square. Place your hands on your hip bones, so you can feel whether they are squared forward. Draw the right hip back and the left hip forward. When you bring your arms up, keep them shoulder’s distance apart if that is more comfortable. (See Aunt Yoga's advice for more arm variations.
Advanced: Make sure the right knee stays directly over the right ankle. Ground down the outer edge of the left foot while lifting the inner arch of that foot. Really engage the quadriceps. Hold the pose for ten breaths.
Try the Warrior Sequence.