- Stretches hamstrings.
- Stretches adductor muscles and calf muscles.
- Stretches the intercostal muscles between your ribs that assist breathing.
- Stretches torso muscles.
- Opens chest and shoulders.
- Traditionally thought to stimulate abdominal organs and lungs.
- Patellar Bursitis / Tendonitis of the Knee - Do not perform this pose kneeling on your injured knee. You may sit in a chair, with the injured knee bent, foot flat on the floor.
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury of the Knee - This pose may put too much strain on the extended leg, and an injured PCL may not be able to support the knee sufficiently.
- Neck Pain / Dizziness - Do not look up towards the hand but simply look straight forward.
- In this pose your core muscles are holding you in place, not the position of the hand on the leg. You should be able to keep the form of the pose while hovering the hand above the extended leg.
- You may cushion your knee more by folding over your mat or placing a blanket under your knee cap.
- Using a block – Instead of placing your hand on your extended leg, you may use a block on the floor behind your leg, remembering there are 3 possible heights to the block.
- You may also point the toes of the extended leg, bringing the sole of your foot down towards the floor. Maintain the outward rotation at the hip so that the knee cap continues to face up towards the sky.
parigha = a bar used for locking a gate
- Come into a kneeling position on your mat. Your toes can be curled under for more stability and to open the soles of the feet, or you may place the tops of your feet flat on your mat.
- Extend your right leg out to your side, outwardly rotating at the hip so that your knee cap is facing the sky.
- Keep your extended leg in the same plane as the kneeling leg, and keep the hip of you kneeling leg over your knee.
- Inhale and reach your left arm overhead, lengthening the side of your body.
- Exhale as you hinge over to the right, allowing the right hand to gently rest on your thigh, skin, ankle or foot.
- Keeping your left hip stacked over your left knee, reach the left arm overhead, beside your ear, keeping your shoulder blade moving down your back.
- Turn and gaze up towards the sky, keeping the back of your neck long.
- Breathe comfortably as you hold.
- To exit, energetically draw your inner thighs towards each other, draw in the lower belly and then inhale as you lift up to vertical.
- Exhale as you gently slide the extended leg back to kneeling and then switch sides.