1. Prepare a padded surface, such as a yoga mat or a folded blanket or towel. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Bend your right knee and bring your lower leg towards your groin to form a cradle.
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Clasp your hands around the outside of the shin, and draw your torso towards the inner right leg to lengthen and stretch the spine. Lock the right knee tight by pressing the calf into the back of the thigh.
2. Next bend the left knee, and bring the left leg across in front of your torso, rotating from the hip rather than the knee. Place the outside edge of the foot into the left side of your groin. Bring both knees as close to each other as possible, pressing the right heel into the left inner thigh/lower belly.
With practice try to bring the soles of the feet into position where they are facing upwards.
3. Lean back slightly, and shift the knees as close together as possible. Use the outside of the feet to push down into the groin towards the floor. Place the hands on the knees, or with the palms facing upwards with the thumbs and index fingers touching in the classic ‘Jnana mudra' position. Then repeat these instructions on the other side.
4. To begin, only hold this position for a few seconds, as it can be very difficult for beginners, only increasing the duration as your ability increases. This position is traditionally used by experienced practitioners to sit whilst meditating, but it can take a long time to be able to hold this position in comfort.
This pose stretches the ankles, calves and knees, whilst stimulating the pelvis, spine and bladder. Mastery of this pose can develop the body for childbirth, and be beneficial for the post-childbirth effects. This pose is also very calming and is a good position for meditation or prayer.