1. Bring the knees to the floor with the knees hip width apart and the big toes touching. Carefully sit back on your heels with the heels touching the outside of hips. Spread the knees as wide as comfortable. Rest the hands on the knees with the palms facing down.
2. Lean back to the hips sink down into the floor. Reach the crown of the head up to lengthen the spine. Drop the shoulders down and back, and press the chest towards the front of the room.
3. Relax the face, jaw, and belly. Let the tongue rest on the roof of the mouth, just behind the front teeth.
4. Breathe deeply through the nose down into the belly. Hold as long as comfortable.
Benefits: Gracious pose actively stretches the quadriceps, opens the hips, lengthens the spine and promotes groundedness and inner calm.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic knee or hip injury or inflammation.
Modifications: Place a blanket under the legs or place a folded blanket between the feet and under the hip bones.
Variations: A) Inhale arms up, interlace fingers and press palms up towards ceiling. B) Round forward with the forehead on the floor and the arms overhead.