EFFECT: Stretches hamstrings, inner thighs, it (Iliotibial) band, and lower back, calms.
GAZE: Big toe
PRECEDING POSES: Seated Forward Fold
COUNTERPOSES: Bridge with a block under your sacrum, Savasana
PRECAUTIONS: Most people have difficulty reaching their feet with their hands. You can place a strap around the sole of your foot and place the two sides of the strap into your hands. Move as directed.
1. Lie down on your back. Lift your right leg up to the ceiling and grab your big toe with your index and middle fingers. Straighten your leg and relax your shoulders. Your left leg should remain extended on the ground. Hold for five breaths.
2. Allow your right leg to fall over to the right, but go only so far as you can while keeping your left hip and left sit bone on the mat. Hold for five breaths.
3. Come back through the center. Grab your right foot with your left hand and allow your leg to go to the left for a stretch and a twist. It is okay to let your right sit bone lift here. Hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
TIP: As you take your leg across your body, try going only a few inches at first. This might deepen the stretch along the outside of the leg. This is especially great for runners.