Side Stretch Pose: To develop strength and stamina, and tone the waist and stomach muscles, practice this asana.
Along with a sequence of standing poses, Side Stretch Pose strengthens the back and relieves general backache. It can help with various problems of the back and spine including, displacement of the spinal discs; arthritis of the lower back, dorsal spine and shoulders; lumbago, and sciatica. It also develops the chest and strengthens the legs. Include it in your practice to cure bronchitis, strengthen weak ankles and weak or deformed legs. It also deals with tight hamstrings, knee problems and flat feet. Other health problems that benefit from this pose: constipation, acidity, indigestion and kidney problems.
- Stand in TADASANA (Mountain Pose). With an inhalation jump your feet to 3-1/2 ft. apart and swing your arms out ot the side. Fully stretch your arms and legs and raise your chest. Take a couple of breaths.
- Turn your left foot in and your right foot out. Holding your left legs firm, exhale and bend your right knee to form a square, so that your shin is upright and your thigh is parallel to the floor. Place your right hand on the floor to the outside of your right foot.
- Extend your left arm up. Move your tailbone in. Press your right knee back to align it above your right ankle.
Anchor your left foot firmly to the floor and extend through your left hand. Feel the resulting stretch along your entire right side.
- Stretch your arms over your ear and look up. Breathe evenly and hold the pose steadily for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Practicing with your back to the wall can help you achieve a good pose: press your right knee against your right arm and roll your left shoulder back toward the wall. If you cannot easily reach the floor with your hand, place it on a block.