How to practice:
· Sit on a mat with legs stretched out, thighs, knees, ankles and feet together
· Back and neck erect, rest on your buttock bones.
· Fold your right knee and bring it towards perineum till your big toe touches inside of left thigh
· Ensure the right knee is pressed firmly on the floor
· Inhale and stretch your hands up, palms facing each other and keeping elbows straight
· Pull your stomach in
· Stretch spine upward, keep head between arms
· Exhale and bend down from lower back; continue to look forward towards big toe
· Hold left heel interlocking your fingers and placing elbows on mat (Beginners may hold ankle or shin, as you feel comfortable)
· Keep the left knee straight and press thigh towards the floor
· Hold the pose for 30-60 secs
· Repeat with other leg
· 3-4 cycles of the asana are ideal

Benefits
· Stabilizes blood pressure
· Tones abdominal organs (kidneys, bladder, pancreas and adrenal glands) and massages the pelvic region
· Corrects curvature of spine and rounded shoulders
· Eases stiffness around shoulders, hips, elbow and wrist & finger joints
· Improves concentration and calms mind
· Tones and strengthens the chest muscles
· Strengthens the leg muscles
· Energies body and keeps you active throughout the day
· Helps to remove excess weight around abdomen

Caution: This posture should not be performed by people suffering from slip discs, hernia and sciatica.

IndianExpress_Sept_2014