- Improves range of motion in the hip joint by opening the hip flexors and outer hip area
- Stretches the buttocks and the piriformis muscle, which may help to alleviate sciatica
- Massages and tones the digestive and reproductive organs
- Ayurveda: Increases earth, air, and fire and reduces Vata
- Chakras: activates the root (1), sacral (2), and solar plexus (3) chakras
- Prana Vayus: strengthens Samana and Prana
- Langhana/Brahmana: balances heating and cooling
- Begin in Runner Pose with the right leg forward, engaging the bandhas and reaching through the back heel.
- Lower the left knee and top of the foot to the ground.
- Open the right knee out, and bring the right foot forward, aligning the shin as close to parallel to the front of your mat as possible.
- Square the pelvis by drawing the right hip back, and left hip forward.
- Press the hips toward the floor. If the hips cannot rest on the floor and remain square, you may want to place a block or bolster under the right sits bone (see modifications).
- Reach back through the left toes while lengthening the torso upward, relaxing in the shoulders and creating space in the vertebrae.
- Breathe deeply and steadily, inhaling into the pelvic region, and softening in the hip joints with each exhale.
- After a few minutes, slowly and gently release the posture.
- Repeat to the other side.
- Those with knee, hip, or low back pain may need to begin with modifications.
- Place a folded blanket or block under the sits bone of the front leg to support and maintain alignment of the hips.
- Fold the torso forward and rest on the forearms or forehead.
- Bend the back knee and hold onto the ankle to increase the stretch in the thigh.