1. Parsvottanasana ( Intense Side Stretch Pose)
Stand in Tadasana ( Mountain Pose) position, step your left foot back, coming to a stance that you feel stable, lift your left heel up and pressing into the ball of your left big toe, making sure the inner left thigh is turning inward. Place both hands on your hips to check the position of your pelvis is square. Keep the outer left thigh in a forward moving rotation position.
Exhale, fold forward from your hips, and keep lengthening the spine and heart remains open outward and forward. As you lean your torso towards the right thigh, keep the right hip backward and left thigh forward.
Rest your hands on the floor on both side of your right feet, if this is not possible to reach the floor, support your hands with a pair of blocks.
After 5 even breaths, pressing through the back heel and lift through your torso, then step the left foot forward to Tadasana position, and repeat on the other side.
– Press the base of the big toe and inner heel of the front foot strongly on the ground
– Keeping the hips squared throughout the pose
– Lengthen the front of the torso forward.
2. Virabhadrasana 1 ( Warrior 1)
Stand in Tadasana position, step your left foot back, then pivot the left foot 45 degrees to the left. Keep the right foor parallel to the edge of the mat, and the right knee is in line with the centre of the right foot. Bring both hands on the hips, making sure the hip is totally squared.
Pressing strongly on the left heel, exhale stretch both arms overhead and bent the right knee over the right ankle and shin is perpendicular to the floor. Keep the right thigh parallel with the mat. Reaching strongly upward through the outer shoulder blades, and lift the ribcage away from your pelvis. Keep drawing the left hip forward and reaching upward through the front of the upper body. Keep head in a neutral position or look up slightly at your palms. Stay for a few breaths.
Inhale, press strongly through the left heel and straighten the right knee and bring the left foot forward in Tadasana position and repeat on the other side.
– Lift pubis towards your navel, and lengthening tail bone towards the floor
– Stretches chest, lungs and groins
– Arms and shoulder strengthening
– Strengthen thighs, calves and ankles
3. Prasarita Paddothanasana C ( Wide Leg Standing Forward Bend C )
Stand in Tadasana position, turn to the right and step your feet wide apart. Turn your toes slightly inward and heel slightly outward and the outer edges of the feet are parallel to the mat.
Inhale, extend both arms out in line with shoulder, Exhale, interlace fingers from behind. Inhale, lift the torso up and exhale, fold forward from the hips, and keep the torso long. Drop the crown of the head towards the floor and bringing both interlaced arms away from your shoulder. Every exhalation, try to bring the knuckles overhead.
Keep the hips align with the ankles, strongly engage the quadriceps and shift weight to the balls of your feet.
Inhale, press strongly through the feet and lift the torso up and arch. Exhale, release both hands to the hips and step forward return to Tadasana pose.
– Focus to lengthen torso rather than focusing on bringing head to the ground. Beginners may support the head with a block, blanket or bolster.
– Fold from the hips and not the waist. Try to put hands on the front hip bones and press while folding forward from that spot.
– Align heels, ankles and knee, try not to put too much pressure on the heels
Benefits : Stretches hamstrings, calves, and hips.
Strengthen feet, ankles and spine.
For the pose, many variations can be practiced.
Prasarita Paddothanasana A – Instead of interlaced fingers, put both hands on the hips and fold forward and rest both hands on the floor directly under your shoulders. If your hands cant come to the floor, rest them on blocks under your shoulders.
Prasarita Paddothanasana B – From the standing position, keep both hands on the hips, pointing elbow behind your body and fold forward