This posture provides a deep stretch for the hips, hamstrings and calves. It creates length in the spine, releasing tension in the low back. It’s also a simple inversion which helps get blood flowing back to the upper body. Add in this arm variation for a shoulder and chest opener that counterbalances too much time hunched over a computer.
The move: Turn to face the long edge of your mat with your feet 3–4 feet apart. Turn the toes in slightly and engage the thighs. Bring your hands to your hips and, as you exhale, lean the torso forward until it is parallel to the floor. Lengthen through the entire torso and on your next exhale fold completely. Rest your hands on your thighs, shins, ankles or place your palms flat on a block or the floor below your shoulders. Let your head be relaxed and heavy. Relax the eyes and hold here for 5–10 breaths. After a few breaths add a shoulder and chest opener by taking the arms behind your back, interlacing your fingers and letting your arms fall toward the floor.