- Strengthens the low back and pelvic muscles, while lengthening the spine
- Opens the hips in internal rotation and adduction and stretches the quadriceps, creating flexibility and alignment in the hips, legs, and knees
- Increases efficiency of the entire digestive system, relieving stomach ailments such as hyperacidity and peptic ulcer
- Important meditation posture helping the body to sit upright and the spine to lengthen, especially for those with sciatica
- Massages the reproductive organs, helping to alleviate menstrual disorders and assisting women in labor
- Prevents hernia and is good for virility
- Stimulates vajra nadi, activates sushumna nadi and redirects sexual energy to the brain for spiritual purposes
- Ayurveda: Increases earth and water and reduces vata and pitta
- Chakras: activates the root (1) and sacral (2) chakras
- Prana Vayus: strengthens Samana and Apana
- Langhana/Brahmana: balances heating and cooling
- Begin on the hands and knees in Table posture.
- Bring the knees and toes together, and begin to sit all the way back toward the heels, allowing the heels to cradle the pelvis (see modifications if this is uncomfortable).
- Lift and lengthen the torso so the spine is vertical, and rest the hands on the knees with the fingers spread wide.
- Relax the shoulders and widen the upper back.
- Lift the chin so it is parallel to the earth, softening the gaze and relaxing the face and jaw.
- Engage the bandhas by drawing the low abdomen in and up, and lifting the pelvic floor, while lengthening the tailbone toward the earth in order to maintain length in the low back.
- Press the shins and tops of the feet into the earth, grounding the pinky toe sides of the feet.
- Feel the breath traveling down the spine as you inhale, and up and out as you exhale.
- Those with knee or ankle pain should begin with modifications.
- Use a cushion or rolled blanket under the hips or ankles, or behind the knees to alleviate any strain or tension.
- Allow the knees to come apart slightly if there is any discomfort in the knees.
- Half Thunder Bolt: In the final position, bring the sole of one foot to the floor. Reverse.
- Gracious Pose (Bhadrasana): Separate the knees as wide apart as possible, keeping the feet together (pictured).