Type : Sitting (from starting point)
Justification : Hip opener and lateral bend
Complimentary posture : self complimentary as the lateral movement helps to counter-balance lateral twist extensions. Can be practiced before Uttitia Trikonasana or Uttita Parsvakonasana.
Physical Benefits : Stretches the pelvic region, the sides of the torso, spine and extends and tones the abdomen. Stretches the hamstrings, gluteus maximus, erector spinae, intercoastals and the obliques. Opens the shoulders .
Therapeutic Benefits : Stimulates organs and lungs. Helps people with stiff backs, improves breathing and lung expansion thus increasing breathing capacity. Helps with asthma and other respiratory disorders. Stimulates digestion and regulates kidney functions.
Limitations : To be avoided if you have had recent abdominal surgery, hernia or knee pain or surgery.
How To Practice :
Sit in Vajrasana and push up and on to the knees. Kneeling on a blanket or sticky mat , keep the knees in line with the edge of the mat. Press the tibias firmly into the mat with feet and toes pointing straight back and place hands on hips. Straighten left leg with the heel in line with the edge of the mat , foot flexed. Extend arms straight out to the sides at shoulder level. Inhale and lift the torso towards the ceiling and then extend over the left leg with left hand inching down your tibia towards your ankle while the right arm extends over the head and tries to meet the left hand. Keep the chest and abdomen facing foreward. Go as far as possible without compromising the opened chest. To come back, inhale place right hand on waist lift the torso and come up. Repeat on other side.
Phase II : Repeating same procedure as Phase I, place extended foot directly on the mat with toes pointing down. Inhale and lifting the torso upwards start your lateral journey towards the left foor with the left hand running down the left tibia to the ankle. Now try to bring your right arm completely over your head, keeping the torso twisted towards the ceiling and try to clasp your foot with your right hand. Breathe 4-5 breaths and come back up. Repeat on the other side.
Tips : While extending over to the side, try extending the compressed side much more than the side facing the ceiling to harmonize the stretch in both sides of the torso. People with fragile knees may want to place a blanket under the knees.