Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
BENEFITS Strengthens your lower back, lengthens your spine, opens your hips and groins, stretches your hamstrings
INSTRUCTION Sit on your mat so that your pelvis tips slightly toward the floor in front of you. Widen your legs up to a 90-degree angle. Flex your feet and toes, bringing your second toes in line with the center of your kneecaps. Keep your feet active and press your thighbones into the floor as you draw your kneecaps back toward your thighs and spin your kneecaps slightly toward your pinkie toes. This will help keep your kneecaps upright so you can avoid straining the backs of your knees. Press your heels down and isometrically drag them toward each other. Take a deep breath in and reach your arms up to the sky, lengthening your torso. Exhale, and hinge at your hips to fold your torso heavily toward the floor without moving your feet forward or backward. Bring your hands to the floor and stretch them out in front of you, lowering your torso and head toward the mat. Tip your groins forward while keeping your sitting bones connected to the mat or blanket to help maintain a natural curve in your lower back. Lengthen your torso, and keep your toes upright. Hold for 5–10 breaths.