Stretches the entire front of your body, opens up the hips and hip flexors (vital if you do a lot of sitting for work, cycling or running), improves your posture, opens up the lower back and strengthens the lower back. Improves digestion.

Works: Chest, hips, lower back, gluteus, abs – digestive and lymphatic system

How to

Start with your knees hip-width and your feet and heels in line. With your upper body straight, place your hands on the lower back/gluteus with your thumbs facing out and all five fingers evenly placed. Bring your elbows in and push your chest out.

Slowly push your hips forward, all the time supporting your lower back with your hands, not letting those elbows come out. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Drop your head back, eyes open, mouth closed. Feel the stretch through your throat as well. Relax your face and keep bending back, pushing your hips forward.

Only take one hand off your lower/lower back when you can see the floor clearly behind you – place it on the corresponding heel – all the time coaching yourself to push your hips forward and open out the chest. Follow with the other hand, dropping the head and pushing your hips to the ceiling.

Important: When coming up, place your hands back onto your lower/lower back and then bend your knees to sink down – do not throw your upper body forward to spring out of this pose. It should be slow and controlled.

Complete the posture by bringing your forehead to the ground and arms by your sides into child’s pose. Breathe.

By Nikki Fogden-Moore

Photo credit: Keith Hamlyn

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