Asana Breakdown



by Richard Rosen

vira = brave person, hero
bhadra = blessed, auspicious, prosperous, happy, etc. 

Popularly known as Warrior Pose, 3rd variation (abbreviated below as V3)

Virabhadra’s Pose, often called Warrior (variation 3). This pose is usually entered from Virabhadrasana I. Here we’ll move into the pose from a straight lunge position. 

1. Stand in Tadasana, exhale and lower down to Uttanasana, then exhale again and step your left foot back into a lunge position. Your right knee should be more or less at a right angle. Lay your torso down on the top of the right thigh and bring your hands to your right knee, right hand to the outer knee, left hand to the inner. Then squeeze the knee, lift your torso slightly, and with an exhale, turn it slightly to the right. Lay the middle of your torso (from the pubis to the sternum) down on the middle of the right thigh (from the knee to the hip crease). 

2. Normally students come up into Virabhadrasana III by lunging the torso forward. This tends to shift the body weight onto the ball of the front foot and unbalance the pose. So don’t let your torso swing forward as you move into pose; instead, as you straighten the front knee, think of pressing the head of the thigh bone back. This centers the femur in the hip joint, grounds the heel into the floor, and stabilizes the pose. At the same time, when you straighten your front knee, resist the calf forward against the shin. These two opposing movements–femur head back, calf/shin forward–prevents the knee from locking and further stabilizes the position.

3. Now from the lunge position, stretch your arms forward, parallel to the floor and parallel to each other, palms facing. Exhale and, as described previously, press the head of your right thigh bone back and the heel actively into the floor. Synchronize the straightening of the front leg and the lifting of the back leg. Resist the lift of this leg by firming your tail bone against the pelvis. 

4. The arms, torso, and raised leg should be positioned relatively parallel to the floor. For many students the pelvis tends to tilt toward the standing leg side. Release the raised-leg hip toward the floor until the front plane of the pelvis is also parallel to the floor. Reach strongly back though the raised leg, and just as strongly in the opposite direction with the arms. Bring the head up slightly and look forward, but be sure not to compress the back of your neck. 

5. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to a minute. Release back to the lunge on an exhale, bring your hands to the floor on either side of the right foot, and with an exhale, step your left foot forward beside your right back into the forward bend. Stay here for a few breaths, then repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed. 

- Benefits
Strengthens the ankles and legs
Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back
Tones the abdomen
Improves balance and posture 

-Beginners’ tip: For beginners balance in this pose can be very challenging. Prepare for the pose with a chair positioned in front of you, just a bit in front of your sticky mat (face the back of the chair toward you). When you stretch your arms forward (as described in step 3 above), take hold of the top of the chair back. As you rise up into the full pose, push on and slide the chair away from you and use it to support your arms. Try to hold the chair as lightly as possible. 

- Advanced Tip: Advanced students can enter Virabhadrasana III from Virabhadrasana I. Perform the latter pose with the arms stretched upward. Exhale the front torso down onto the top of the forward leg. From here move into Virabhadrasana III as described in step 3 above. 

- Partnering: A partner can act as a support for your pose. Have her stand in front of you. When you reach your arms forward just before lifting into the full pose, she should lightly hold your wrists in her hands. She should guide you up into position, and then support your wrists as lightly as possible.



VĪRABHADRĀSANA I (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna)

vīra = a brave or eminent person, hero, chief

bhadra = blessed, auspicious, fortunate, prosperous, happy; good, gracious, friendly, kind; excellent, fair, beautiful, lovely, pleasant, dear; skillful in; great


There are three related Virabhadrasana poses (VB hereafter), numbered 1, 2, and 3 (or I, II, and III if you like your numbers Romanized). VB 3 is easily the most challenging family member, in fact one of the more challenging standing poses. BKS Iyengar, in his Light on Yoga (LoY hereafter), which was first published in 1966, rates the difficulty of all its included poses on a scale from 1 to 60, one being the simplest, 60 the most challenging. There’s only one pose, by the way, among the 198 described and illustrated in the book, that’s rated 60, a back bend whose Sanskrit name translated to English is something like Principal Three-Limb Intense Stretch Pose (triang mukha uttanasana). Sort of dances off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Returning to our VB family, VB 3 is rated as a five, VB 1 as a three, and VB 2 as a one (all on the 60 scale). These numbers might be easier to appreciate on an equivalent 100-point scale, which gives us a five for VB 1, one for VB 2, and a little over eight for VB 3. I think it would be fair to say then that these numbers (and many others in the book) are pretty unrealistic for Western students, especially for VB 3, which is way too close to the low end of the scale.

I suspect the reason for these low-balled numbers was that Mr. Iyengar was still, in 1966,  relatively unfamiliar with the capacities of the average Western student. He’d been coming to the West by then for about 12 years, the US for 10, though I’m not sure how many trips he made overall, so I could be wrong. But one possible explanation is that he was fixing the asanas’ rating based on is own experience, which of course was far more extensive than any average Western student. Someone once told me–and I don’t remember who, and I can’t guarantee it’s truth–that when someone asked Mr. Iyengar if he could in retrospect change anything about LoY, what would it be, and he mentioned the number ratings. 

Vīrabhadrāsana is popularly known as the Warrior Pose, though it doesn’t seem to me that the character of Vīrabhadra is either a warrior or great hero. There are several different versions of his story, which mostly involve the deity Śiva, his spouse Satī (meaning virtuous, faithful), and Satī’s father Daksha (meaning able, intelligent), a son of Brahma and one of the fathers of the human race. 

As characters, Daksha and Śiva are at opposite ends of the behavioral spectrum. The former could be considered among the cultural elite, while the latter is a long-haired, pot-smoking counter-culture type, although of course he can be anything he wants to because he is, after all, god. Predictably they don’t get along, and in the various stories about them, one is always offending the other. 

So it happens that Daksha organizes a great sacrifice and invites all the sages and gods except one – guess who? Śiva couldn’t care less, but Satī feels insulted that her husband was left out and crashes the party to pick a bone with her father. Daksha though has his own bone to pick with his daughter about her husband, and publically humiliates Satī. She then decides to teach him an important lesson, and jumps into the sacrificial fire where she’s immediately burnt to a crisp. 

Now Śiva loves his wife dearly, and so goes crazy when he finds out what happened. Boiling with anger and craving revenge, he creates the monster Vīrabhadra, intending to sic him on Daksha and his sacrifice. Vīrabhadra is pictured in various ways, some fairly tame, others over-the-top extreme. In a latter description, he’s given a thousand heads and eyes, is armed to the teeth, smeared with ashes, and burns like hell fire. In the course of disrupting the sacrifice, he pulls out the Sun god’s teeth, cuts off the Fire god’s hands and tongue, crushes the Moon god with one of his toes, and chases off the king of the eagles. After all this there’s often a relatively happy ending. Satī is reborn as Parvati and is re-united with her husband, and Daksha relents and apologizes to Śiva, who then magnanimously forgives and forgets. 

I once was told–and again I’m blank about who it was–that the shape of the pose represents Virabhadra rising up from the earth at his creation. It’s always seemed to me that the numbering of VB 1 and VB 2 should be reversed, since I’ve been taught from day 1 that the pose under examination here flows naturally into VB 3. Be that as it may …

1. I like to brace my back heel in standing poses against a wall, and for VB 1 I might also elevate that back heel on a foam wedge or sandbag. This helps me get the needed rotation of the pelvis while at the same time protecting my lower back. So first bring the right foot forward, turned out 90 degrees, and the left foot back, turned in maybe 60 degrees. Depending on your height and flexibility, have anywhere from 3 to 4 feet between your feet.

2. Bring your hands to your hips and rotate your pelvis to the right. As much as is possible for you, square the front of your pelvis with the front edge of the sticky mat. Typically when the pelvis turns in this way, the back knee buckles a bit, so as the left hip comes around, press firmly into the back heel. 

3. Draw the front of the pelvis up, bring the pubic bone and navel close together, and lengthen the tail bone toward the floor. Have the top rim of the pelvis as parallel to the floor as possible.

4. Inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the floor. You can keep the hands apart or bring the palms together (base of the palms touch first, then the palms, finally the fingers). The little fingers lead the way to the ceiling. 

5. Quickly with an exhale, bend the front knee. Aim the inner knee to the little toe side of the foot. Position the right knee over the heel so the shin is perpendicular to the floor, and as much as is possible, bring the underside of the thigh parallel to the floor.

6. Lean back on the shoulder blades for an upper torso back bend. Be sure to lengthen the lower back, you don’t want a deep lumbar curve. To do this, lengthen the tail downward and lift the back ribs up faster than the front ribs.

7. As for your head, beginners should keep it neutral, looking straight ahead. More experienced students can look up at the thumbs, but only if they can extend the head back from the root of the neck. 

8. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute. To come up, inhale, press the back heel firmly into the floor or its lift and reach up through the arms, straightening the right knee. Turn the feet forward, parallel to each other, and walk the feet together (if you’re using a wall; otherwise just reverse the position of the feet). Be sure not to shift forward onto the front foot. Release the arms with an exhale, or keep them extended upward for more challenge. Take a few breaths, the repeat on the second side for the same length of time as the first. 


  • Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, and groins (psoas) 

  • Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back

  • Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles


  • High blood pressure

  • Heart problems 

Students with shoulder problems should keep their raised arms parallel (or slightly wider than parallel) to each other. Students with neck problems should keep their head in a neutral position, and not extend the neck.


This pose can be performed with the arms in various positions. For example, go through steps 1 to 4 as described above, except with your hands resting on your hips. Then, once the forward knee is bent, swing your arms around behind your torso and clasp your hands. Stretch your hands away from the back torso and lift your chest. It’s acceptable to squeeze your scapulas together at first, but be sure, once the chest is lifted, to pull them away from the spine. To leave the pose, reach back with your hands and, with an inhale, “pull” yourself up, straightening the front knee. 


Here’s a partnering exercise for this pose, but you need two partners and a thick pole (like a broomstick). As you perform the pose, have your partners stand, facing you, to either side of your torso. They should hold the ends of the pole and lift it above your head.  Grasp the pole with your raised hands, then you and your partners push the pole up until your arms are fully extended. Imagine then, as all three of you push, that your torso and legs are “hanging” from the pole. 




vira = brave person, hero
bhadra = blessed, auspicious, prosperous, happy, etc.

Popularly known as Warrior Pose, 2nd variation (abbreviated below as V2)

Although he was certainly war-like, I’m not sure that “Warrior” describes Virabhadra accurately; rather, he was a monstrous emanation of the deity Shiva, the patron saint of Hatha Yoga, with a “thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, wielding a thousand clubs … shining with dreadful splendour … clothed in tiger’s skin, dripping with blood…” Virabhadra was cooked up specifically to settle a score with Shiva’s father-in-law, a powerful prajapati, or “lord of creatures,” named Daksha (“skillful, intelligent”). I won’t go into the rather gruesome details of this story, suffice it to say that Virabhadra crashed a great sacrifice Daksha was leading and set about teaching him a lesson he’d never forget. One version of the story has him wreaking violence among the sacrifice’s participants, crushing this and dismembering that, until he finally chopped  off Daksha’s head. When Shiva went to stick it back on it couldn’t be found, so he used a goat’s head instead. Lesson learned.

I don’t know this for sure, but V2 may be based on a pose called Pratyalidha-asana, which is a “particular attitude in shooting” a bow and arrow. I often wonder why this pose is counted as the second in the three-pose Virabhadra series. It seems to me that V2 should be numbered one, since it quite naturally flows into V1 (which then lifts up to V3).

In any case, it doesn’t appear that any of the Virabhadras are very old. The earliest attested description of V1 is found in Yoga Rahasya (“Secret of Yoga”). This book has an extremely interesting story. When it first appeared it was attributed to one Natha-muni, was once claimed that it was over a thousand years old, though it was finally determined that it was product of the 20th century

In my 38 years of practice, mostly in Iyengar Land, I’ve watched the words fly in some heated asana controversies. There was, for example, the great pelvis-in-a-twist fracas, one camp insisting the pelvis should stay neutral while the rest of the torso twists. An opposing camp countered, no, the pelvis should turn with the rest of the torso, keeping it neutral could lead to all  sorts of lower back issues. This led to a clash over the pelvis’ position in the two-sided standing poses, i.e., Triangle and Half Moon, Side Angle and its twisted variation, and V2.

One camp (I won’t name any names) asserted that the pelvis should be “flattened” as if performing the pose between two panes of glass. I call this camp the form-over-function camp. The opposition here unequivocally states that the pelvis needs to turn with the rest of the torso, else in neutrality there’s a tremendous strain put on the back hip and front knee. These folks (I’m revealing here who I adhere to) are function-over-form.

PRELIMINARY: I’ve learned a number of very useful exercises in my years as a yoga student, but none more useful than the one I’ll describe here. You’ll need a yoga block (although a rolled-up sticky mat will do in a pinch) and an open wall (a foam block is preferable, a cork block will probably be OK, a wooden block will provide you with a challenging experience).

Position one side of the block against the very top back thighs, just under the creases of the buttocks, then brace the block against the wall. Step your heels out from the wall about the length of the block, say 9 or 10 inches. In an upright position push back with the topmost thighs against the block, you may feel yourself getting slightly taller. Take an exhale and, without losing any of the height you may have created, tip the torso about halfway, roughly parallel, to the floor. If you’re just learning this exercise you may find that the block slips down a bit and is no longer directly against your topmost back thighs. Should this happen, re-adjust the block, then come down into the forward bend about three-quarters of the way.

Now look to see if, in trying to press your thighs back against the block, you’re simply locking your knees. One very clear giveaway in that your knee caps are slightly turned inward. If this is the case, bend your knees until the caps face forward and press your hands against the calves to resist the knees. Spend a few minutes in the forward bend, getting a feel for what it’s like to “ground” the thigh bones (specifically the femur heads). Don’t be discouraged if at first you can’t figure out how to do this, keep trying regularly and eventually the “grounding” will come.

PRACTICE: Now for the pose. I like to do my standing poses with my back heel pressed to a wall, and I recommend you do this at least occasionally.

1. Separate your feet about 3½ to 4 feet, generally farther apart the taller you are. Brace your left heel against a wall and turn your foot slightly forward, your little toe should be off the wall. Turn your right foot out a full 90 degrees, so the big toe points straight at the front end of your mat.

2. Turn your pelvis slightly to the right, so the left hip is slightly closer to the long edge of the mat. Look at your right knee. Rotate the thigh outwardly (laterally) until the center of the knee cap is aligned with the point midway between the inner and outer ankle bones. Let the left hip come as far forward and it needs to in order to align the knee with the center of the ankle. Remember: in order to “ground” the back leg, press back on the top left thigh and allow the pelvis to turn right as much as it needs to.

3. When bending the front knee into V2, there’s a tendency to let the weight shift onto the ball of the front foot. To counter this destabilizing shift, bring half your attention to the back heel, the one against the wall. When you bend your front knee, be sure to PUSH BACK at the same time on the head of the left femur, which will drive the left heel into the wall. Think of the back leg moving toward the wall as the bending knee moves toward the front of the mat.

4. Now as for bending the front knee. It’s common, when bending, for the knee to “circle” down, that is, it rounds slightly to the inside of the foot before coming to rest directly over the heel. This isn’t a good idea over the long term. To protect the knee then, aim the INNER KNEE toward the LITTLE TOE side of the foot. Align the knee right over the heel (so the shin is perpendicular to the floor) and keep it there for the duration of the pose. If you have the flexibility bring the underside of the thigh parallel to the floor, so the knee is more or less at a right angle. Bend with an exhale.

5. After bending the front knee, it’s not uncommon for the torso to lean forward a bit. Ideally though you’d like the shoulders to be aligned over the pelvis. So allow the head of the right femur to drop toward the floor (you’re still “grounding” it) and lift the right hip point up and away. Imagine too that your tail bone is lengthening down into and through floor.

6. Now lift and outstretch the arms with an inhale. We often see the arms held too high or too low, so bring the arms parallel with the top line of the shoulders. Anatomically of course the arms are rooted in the shoulder sockets, but imagine instead they’re rooted in the mid back, between the scapulas. Reach out from this area actively through the fingertips.

7. Finally the head. Most students will naturally turn the head to look out over the front arm. This is acceptable as long as the chin dips down toward the top of the right shoulder. If your head tends to be tilted backward (or if you have any neck injuries), it would be best to avoid turning it for awhile; instead, just look straight forward. Stay in the pose for 1 to 2 minutes, breathing easily, then come up with a inhale, and reverse feet for the second side. NOTE: when moving away from the wall after performing the first side, be sure not to lunge forward onto the front leg; instead, turn the right foot forward parallel to the left, and when your weight is evenly balanced on both feet, walk your feet together.

Beginner’s tip: If you have difficulty supporting yourself in this pose, position a metal folding chair outside your forward leg, with the front edge of the chair seat facing you. As you bend the forward knee into the pose, slide the front edge of the chair seat under your thigh (taller students may need to build up the height of the chair seat with a thickly folded blanket). Then simply sit on the chair with front leg thigh.

Intermediate’s tip: To intensify the strength/lengthening of the arms, try this. Reach your arms out to the sides and the turn the palms up. Do this by sliding the shoulder blades down your back. Then without letting the blades lift, turn the palms down by rotating from the wrists.

Contraindications: Serious knee and/or back injury.



There doesn’t seem to be any agreement on a Sanskrit name for this pose. The most common name is Ashva Sanchalanasana, literally “to move about on a horse,” and so called the Horse Rider’s Pose. I suppose the legs here represent the “horse”–maybe we can visualize the long back leg as the horse’s “tail–the forward angled torso the “rider.” Swami Rajarishi Muni calls this the “Wide Step Pose (urukramasana), Shri Yogeshvara Nand Parmhansa calls it eka pada dvi hasta baddhasana, which he translates as Hands-on-foot Posture, though I don’t really understand how he gets that English rendition. My kindergarten Sanskrit suggests “one foot two hands bound posture.”  Yogrishi Vishvketu calls the back-leg-straight variation Hero Pose (vira asana), and when the back knee is bent to the floor he calls it Horse Pose (but no “rider”); oddly, the Sanskrit word he uses for “horse’ is cetaka, which as far as I can find, means “sentient,” but not “horse.”

For our purposes we’ll call the straight-back-knee pose High Lunge, the back knee bent to the floor will be Low Lunge. 


1. With an inhale, lift your front torso to Half Standing Forward Bend (ardha uttanasana), bend your knees and with an exhale step your left foot back toward the back edge of your mat and put the ball of the foot on the floor (some teachers may prefer to step the right leg back first). Step back far enough so that your right knee can form a right angle, with your knee aligned over the ankle (so your shin is perpendicular to the floor) and, ideally, the underside of your right thigh parallel to the floor. If you’re tighter in the hips and groins, then your thigh might be slightly above parallel. 

 2. After stepping back with an exhale, lay your torso on the right thigh and with an inhale lengthen the top of the sternum (manubrium) forward. Look straight ahead. Let the head of the right thigh bone sink under the torso’s weight, but at the same time, against the firmness of the tail bone, press the left thigh actively toward the ceiling. Reach your left heel as close as you can to the floor. 

 3. When you’re ready to move into Downward Facing Dog, exhale and step your right foot back beside the left. Keep the pelvis heavy as you do. 


4. To return to Lunge from Downward Facing Dog during the Sun Salutation sequence, inhale and step your right foot forward between your hands. Then straighten right knee and swing your left leg forward. Be sure to keep that leg straight and strong as you return to Uttanasana. 


  • Any serious knee injuries 

  • With neck problems look down at the floor instead of straight ahead 


  • Stretches the groins

  • Strengthens the legs and arms 


Often beginners have a difficult time lightly stepping the back foot between the hands from Downward Dog. If this is the case, support your hands on a pair of blocks when you step forward. The added space between the torso and floor can make the step much easier. 

HINTS FOR SUN SALUTE (surya namaskara)

1. Sun Salute (hereafter SS) can be done rapidly for exercise, or more slowly as a meditation. 

 2. When coming into the Standing Forward Bend from Raised Arms at the start of the sequence, don’t bring the arms forward and down; rather, swing them off to the sides as if making a swan dive. Similarly, when returning to Mountain Pose at the end of the sequence, sweep your arms again out to the sides (or bring your hands to your hips). 

 3. When moving from Four-limb Pose to Upward Facing Dog, try not to push your torso up and back, compressing the lower back. Instead, lift your torso up and forward and lengthen the tail bone toward the heels. 

 4. To move from Upward Facing Dog to its Downward complement, generate the movement by pressing back on the heads of the thigh bones. Let the arms and torso “stream away” from the legs. 

 5. Watch your breath carefully. Whenever folding the front torso exhale, when opening the front torso inhale. 



Uttanasana is one of the most commonly performed of all the standing poses. It’s also one of the most useful, IF performed properly. In many classes it serves as a “rest period” between the poses of the standing sequence. It’s extension, ardha uttanasana, is also extremely important. Too often, we move into the standing forward bend from our belly, shorting and hardening the front torso. Ardha uttanasana reminds to continue to lengthen the front torso, and more importantly, the front spine.

UTTANĀSANA (oot-tun-AH-suh-nuh)

ut (actually ud) = a prefix suggesting power or powerful

tan = to stretch or extend (compare the Latin verb tendere, “to stretch or extend,” and English “tension”)

Intense Stretch Pose, commonly called Standing Forward Bend

1) Stand in Tadasana, hands on hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. As you descend draw the front torso out of the groins and open the space between the pubis and navel. As in all the forward bends the emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully into the position.

2) If possible, with your knees relatively straight, press your palms or finger tips on the floor, either slightly in front of or beside your feet; if this isn’t possible, then cross your forearms and hold your elbows with the opposite-side hands. Feel the contact of the heels on the floor and lift the sit bones away from them toward the ceiling. Turn the top thighs slightly inward.

3) With each inhale in the pose, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhale release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates almost  imperceptibly with the breath. Let your head hang from the root of the neck, which is deep in the upper back, between the shoulder blades.

4) Uttanasana can be used as a resting position between the standing poses. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. It can also be practiced as a pose in itself for anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes.

5) Don’t roll the spine to come up. Instead bring your hands back onto your hips and reaffirm the length of the front torso. Then press your tail bone down and into the pelvis and come up on an inhale with a long front torso.


  • Calms the brain

  • Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips

  • Strengthens the thighs and knees


If you have a serious back injury, do this pose with bent knees, or perform Ardha Uttanasana (pronounced are-duh = half) with your hands pressed to a wall, legs perpendicular to and torso and arms parallel to the floor.

Beginner’s Tip:

If it isn’t possible to press your fingertips or hands to the floor with your knees relatively straight, use a pair of blocks to support them. Never struggle to touch the floor.

Intermediate’s Tip:

To increase the stretch:

1) Perform the pose with the balls of your feet supported on a low height (maybe 2 to 3 inches), heels on the floor. The higher the height, the deeper the stretch. Stay for a minute or more, come up with an inhale.

2) Stand facing an open wall, maybe 4 to 5 inches away. With an exhale, swing your torso to one side, bend forward, and touch your back to the wall. Now adjust: if the stretch is too intense, back away from the wall; if it could be greater, wiggle in closer to the wall. Stay for a minute or more, then press your hands to the floor and step back to Downward Facing Dog.

ARDHA UTTANASANA  (are-duh oot-tun-AH-suh-nuh)

ardha = half

uttana = intense stretch

Half Intense Stretch Pose, commonly known as Half Standing Forward Bend Pose.

1)  In Uttanasana,  press your palms or fingertips against the floor (or against blocks on the floor) beside your feet. Straighten your elbows and, with an inhale, arch your front torso away from your thighs and lengthen between your pubic bone and navel as much as possible.

2) With your palms (or fingertips) push down and back against the floor (or blocks) as if trying to slide it (them) toward your heels; at the same time, lift the top of your sternum up (away from the floor) and forward (toward the opposite side of the room). You might bend your knees slightly to help get this movement, which will concave your back and convex your front torso.

3) Look forward, but as usual be careful not to compress the back of your neck. Hold the concave back position for a few breaths, then with an exhale release your torso into full Uttanasana.


With any neck injury, don’t lift the head to look forward; otherwise same as those of Uttanasana

Benefits: (in addition to those of Uttanasana)

  • Stretches the front torso

  • Strengthens the back and improves posture

  • Stimulates the belly

Beginner’s Tip:

When lifting and lengthening the front torso, if the backs of you legs are tight, bend your knees quite a bit to avoid stressing the lower back.

Intermediate’s Tip:

To intensify the stretch on the back thighs, bend your knees slightly and cross your forearms behind your calves. Firm the arms against the calves and lift and lengthen the front torso as described above. Hold that length, continue to resist the calves with the arms, and push back firmly against the top thighs. Let the front torso be drawn into a deep fold, maintaining as much of the length along the front torso as possible.