This yoga pose (also known as Prasarita Padottanasana) stretches and releases the lumbar spine, relieving mild back pain.

Yoga pose: Wide-legged forward bend - Good for stress - Women's Health & Fitness

What it does

Great for lower back tightness, this posture benefits the body by stretching the inner and back of the thighs while also stretching and releasing the lumbar spine, relieving mild back pain. It opens up the shoulders, hips and neck while stimulating your digestive system, which can become stagnant when feeling stressed.

What you'll do

Start with taking your feet wide apart and parallel, push down through your feet and fold forward with as much of a bend in the knees as you need. Place your hands on the floor directly underneath your shoulders so the spine is still long.

Inhale to lengthen the spine, move the left arm under your face; as you exhale, open your right arm up and reach the fingertips towards the ceiling. You can hold here for a slow breath or two and on the next inhalation lower the right hand to the floor under your face and repeat on the left.

This variation can be treated as a flow, moving with slow, conscious breath from side to side.

If you have a back or spine injury, only perform this posture with a teacher around. If you have tight hamstrings or lower back, you can bend the knees or lift the floor by placing a stack of books under your hands.

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Words: Phoebe Waters and Rebecca Long; Model: Phoebe Waters // @phoebeeyoga; Photographer: Ren Pidgeon // renpidgeon.com // @renpidgeon; Stylist: Alexandra Apostolidis
Phoebe wears: American Apparel top; Triangl bottoms