Improves leg-muscle flexibility so that the legs eventually feel lighter and hamstring- and hip-opening poses become effortless; contracts your abdominals.
Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) with your legs straight in front of you. Hold the big toe of your right foot with the index and middle fingers of your right hand—if this is difficult, use a belt. Then hold your left big toe the same way. Lift the left foot, bend your left leg, and take the leg and knee back as far as possible. The left elbow will extend back. Keep pressing through your inner left heel, but without tensing the foot. If your left foot is tense, your groins will become tense as well. The extension of the inner left heel will help the left thigh remain close to the chest and feel light. Hold here for a few deep breaths, then exhale to release. Repeat 3 to 4 times to create freedom in the hip joint. Do this on both sides.
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