Geometry: The upper legs are crossed over one another with the knees stacked and the feet pointing backwards either underneath the buttocks (classic pose) or beside the buttocks. The torso is upright and the arms are behind the back with one elbow up and one elbow down with the hands holding one another.
Primary Actions: Extend from the outer hips to the outer knees to draw the knees towards each other and compact the hips. Lift up from the pubis to the navel and the navel to the sternum and lift both sides of the chest up. 3. Pull on the hands (or the strap) to move the shoulderblades into the back and lift the chest.
1. Stand in Tadasana. Roll the thighs in. Press the thighs to lengthen the spine.
2. Inhale, raise the right arm up. Take the tricep in towards the face.
3. Exhale. Bend the right elbow, so the hand comes between the shoulder blades, fingers pointing down.
4. Inhale. Take the left arm thumb down, palm away from you towards the back and up reaching for the fingers of the right hand.
5. Do not collapse the chest or over arch the back to reach the hands together.
6. Exhale release the hands and lower the hands back down into Tadasana.
1. Sit in Dandasana.
2. Bend the left knee back and sit on the left foot, if possible.
3. Raise the right thigh over the left and place the right foot next to the right hip.
4. If the knees do not stack neatly on top of one another or the feet are too far away from the hips, bring your sitbones onto a bolster or a block or more support, as needed.
5. With the right leg on top of the left, raise the left arm up, bend the elbow and take the left hand down in between your shoulderblades.
6. Take the right arm up the back and reach towards the left arm to clasp. If you are unable to clasp, use a strap between the hands.
To come out, release the arms and then release the legs and sit in Dandasana.
Repeat on the other side.
Opens the chest and lubricates the shoulders. The chest is well expanded and the back becomes erect. The shoulder joints move freely and the latissimus dorsi are fully extended.
Do not extend your lower ribs forward. Practice the arm action first before incorporating the legs.
Use a strap over the upper arm shoulder if you cannot reach your hands. Keep the chest lifted, the collar bones broad and the shoulder blades into the spine.
Sit on a block or blanket if you cannot sit on your feet or on the floor in between your feet.
Teachers' photos of this Asana
Model: Adri Kyser
Model: Sara Stover
Model: Cynthia Woodring
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