Utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose)
Triangle pose is one of the "mother asanas" of yoga and it's one that has taken me a loooong time to master or even like!
As it's difficult to fit all the necessary instructions in the video, please read this blog post carefully before attempting the pose.
Stand in Tadasana at the top of your mat and take a large step backwards with your left foot. You should align the heel of the top foot (right foot in this case) with the arch of the back foot (left foot here). The back foot should be turned slightly inwards, about 30º. Stand with your hips and chest facing the front and inhaling spread your arms out, really opening up the chest. Rotate your right knee slightly outwards, towards your little toe, so that the kneecap isn't turning inwards. Exhaling extend your torso to the right, bending from the hip joint. It sometimes helps to "tuck in" your hip joint slightly, as I demonstrate when I do the second side in the video. Try to keep the two sides of your torso equally long, don't just concentrate on the top side. Bring your right hand down towards the ground, and let it rest either on the floor, your ankle or your shin, depending on your degree of flexibility. By no means try to reach the floor if to do this you have to tilt your torso forwards. Stretch your left arm upwards, towards the sky, keeping the palm of you hand facing forwards, and if you have a health neck turn your head so that you can see the top hand. If you have neck problems, look to the front or even towards the floor. Hold the pose for 5 breaths, then come out exhaling, reaching the top hand towards the ceiling and keeping your legs firm. Exhale as you lower your arms and repeat on the other side.
Neck problems, high blood pressure (don't extend the top arm up towards the ceiling), low blood pressure, heart conditions (practice against a wall).
If you are PREGNANT, you should use a chair. Place the chair at the top of the mat (you'll have to play around with the distance a bit before you find the right separation for you) and place your hand on the chair instead of on the floor/ankle/leg. Please let me know if you'd like a demonstration!
Stretches and strengthens thighs, knees, ankles, hips, groin, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine.