Opens and expands the chest and shoulders; stretches the quadriceps
To begin, come into Virasana (Hero Pose): Kneel with your knees together, shins hip-width apart, and sit between your heels. If this is too stressful for your knees, place a block at its short height between your ankles before you sit back; for further comfort, you can also add a blanket behind your knees. Now place a tall block on the floor behind you so that when you recline it lands between your shoulder blades. Allow your neck to extend, and release your head backward as you reach your arms overhead and down toward the floor. (If this position hurts your neck, place another block on its tall setting under your head.) Try holding onto the edges of your mat. Stay in the pose for at least 1 minute with steady breathing. Keep your eyes soft, and your throat and tongue relaxed. Observe how your heart is uplifted and your lungs are spreading.
See also Prop Up Your Backbend: 5 Steps to Kapotasana