Benefits of the pose:
Strengthens legs and back. Builds stamina.
Opens hips, tones abdominal organs, and prepares body for more advanced forwarding bending.
Grounding. Cultivates concentration.
Getting into the pose:
Step feet wide apart and parallel. With arms outstretched, wrists would line up over ankles.
Turn right toes out 90 degrees. Turn left toes in 45 degrees. Heel of right foot lines up approximately with the arch of the left foot.
Bend right knee until it aligns directly above ankle. If knee is moving beyond ankle, move left foot back. Try to bring right thigh bone parallel to floor.
Bring shoulders back over hips. Extend arms as if spreading wings.
Drop shoulders & gaze out over right finger tips.
Once you’re in the pose:
Activate outer edge of back foot, especially the heel, so both legs work evenly.
Lift arches in both feet, feel line of energy from that lift, lifting inner ankle bone up to inner knee in both legs.
Energetically pull feet toward each other, firing inner thighs.
Lift two front hip bones evenly. Drop tailbone. Pull navel back toward spine.
As feet press down, and legs anchor pose, lift and lengthen from tailbone to crown.
Soften shoulders, keep back arm and front arm level.
Soften jaw-line and keep gaze soft, but focused.