BENEFITS Deep hip flexion and the release of the musculature around the sacrum relieve lower back tightness
INSTRUCTION Stand with your feet together, and place your heels on the edge of a thinly rolled blanket (or the floor). Squat down, keeping your knees together. Press your knees, calves, and thighs as close together as possible. Lift your torso upward, and stretch your arms out in front of you, parallel to the floor with palms facing down. Take a deep inhalation. On the exhalation, open your knees and bend forward, placing your hands on the floor in front of you. Press your inner feet and heels down on the blanket roll. Exhale, and lower your trunk toward the floor until your armpits touch your legs at your inner knees. Reach your arms back around your shins, and hold the backs of your ankles. Use the pressure of your upper arms against your shins to extend your trunk. Don’t lift your buttocks. Hold for 6–8 breaths.
See also Hip Flexor Anatomy 101: Counterposes for Sit-Asana