Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana (Bound Extended Side Angle Pose)
BENEFITS Stretches your upper and lower trapezius (muscles that run along your back and shoulders), pectoral and intercostal muscles (chest muscles), and hamstrings. Strengthens your pelvic floor.
INSTRUCTION From Downward-Facing Dog, turn your left foot slightly outward and step your right leg forward between your hands. Bend your right knee so it is above your right ankle. Slowly work your right arm underneath your right leg, keeping your leg at a 90-degree angle. Drop your back heel and keep pressing the outer edge of your left foot into the mat. Lift your left arm up, bend your left elbow, and reach behind you. Clasp your left fingers or wrist with your right hand. (If you can’t yet grasp your hands together, hold a strap.) Move your left shoulder back to open your chest and shoulders. Widen your collarbones and keep your chest open and lifting. Turn your head to look up at the ceiling with a soft gaze. With each breath, try to lift your chest toward the ceiling. Keep your legs engaged, and reach your tailbone toward your left heel. Hold for 5–10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.