This position is the second variation to the “Intense Split Leg Stretch” series of postures. Prasaritha Padothasana B increases your flexibility, when practised correctly, by teaching your body to rotate from the hips when forward bending. Correct alignment is essential to avoid injury.
How to get into the position
From standing at the top of your yoga mat, turn to the right with your feet apart by twice your hip width, inhale and raise your arms straight up in the air to elongate your spine; extending from the backward line of your body. Then exhale and reach forwards, keeping the spine straight by looking forwards as you take your chest inside your legs by leaning your torso forward from your hip joints; by lifting your hips up to fold forward from your hips. As your torso approaches parallel to the floor, grasp your big toes with your first finger and thumb; avoid pressing your thumbs against the floor. Finally, release your head down, without collapsing your neck- keeping it long; you can then place the crown of your head on the floor (vision point up at the sky, to tilt the pelvic bone forwards).
Do not arch your back and do not let your hips go behind your ankles. Avoid trying to pull yourself towards the floor to go deeper into the posture. If your force the position then your likely injure your groin or ankles and, as a result, become demotivated.
When in Prasaritha Padothasana B: with every inhalation, extend your spine and lift your hips. With every exhalation, press the inside line of your feet to fold further forwards; tensing your buttocks and hollowing your belly, pulling it into your spine. Hold for five full breaths.
Prasaritha Padothasana B:
Stretches the back and inside of the legs including the calves and hamstrings
Increases flexibility in the spine and hips
Prepares your body for back-bending yoga asana
Helps relieve mild backache
Avoid this posture if you have arthritis of the toes, ankles, fingers or wrists and approach this posture with caution if you suffer from sciatica.