1. Begin by standing with feet 3-4 feet apart with your feet parallel to each other and your knees unbent, with your hands resting on your hips. Keeping your left hand on the left hip, inhale and then bend your right knee, and slide your left foot about 6 to 12 inches forward on the floor. Simultaneously reach your right hand forward about 12 inches past the outside of the right foot.
2. On an exhalation, press your right heel and your right hand firmly into the floor and straighten your right leg. Simultaneously lift your left leg parallel to the floor.
3. Support most of the body’s weight on your standing leg. Actively reach through the left heel, be careful not to lock out your standing knee, and rotate your upper torso to the left. Maintain your balance using the hand you have placed on the floor.
4. Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, increasing the duration as your ability increases. To come out of this pose exhale and lower the raised leg to the floor. Then perform this pose to the alternate side for the same duration of time.
This pose strengthens and stretches the ankles, calves, thighs, buttocks and spine, and stretches the hamstrings, shoulders and chest. Mastery of this pose improves posture and balance and stimulates the organs of the abdomen, while improving digestion and helping to relieve stress and fatigue.