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Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana (Bound Extended Side Angle Pose)
Strengthens and grounds your legs, opens your shoulders and chest
From Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II) with your left leg forward, reach out with your left hand and shift your hips to the right. Bring your left arm down, in front of and under your left thigh. Your right arm will lengthen skyward. Then, internally rotate the right shoulder and reach behind you, grasping the left hand or wrist. Once you have the bind, externally rotate your right arm, stretching across your top shoulder and chest and moving deeper into the twist. Grounding all four corners of the back foot, inhale to extend through the crown of your head. Exhale to revolve your belly and chest even more and gaze up. Hold for 5 breaths; switch sides.
Marichyasana I, prep
Deepens hip and knee flexion, helps open your shoulders
From Dandasana (Staff Pose), bend your left knee and bring your left heel close to your left sitting bone. Set your right fingertips behind you on the floor, leaning into them. Inhale to reach your left arm up and then bend the elbow around the left shin; ground evenly through both sitting bones. Inhale to elongate and twist to your right. Lift the right fingertips off the floor and grasp the right wrist with your left hand, pulling the shoulder and chest further open. Take 5 breaths; switch sides.
Malasana (Garland Pose), prep
Builds strength, stamina, and focus; helps maintain lightness in your hips and length in your spine as you get lower in your legs
From Utkatasana, lower your arms to shoulder height, keeping them very straight and firm. Press your palms together, and gaze steadily past your fingertips. Shift your weight farther back into your heels as you bend your knees lower and lower. Dig your heels into the earth, creating a buoyancy in your hips and an elongation in your spine. Breathe slowly and deeply, increasing the length of your hold over time, for up to 5 breaths.