1. Prepare a padded surface, such as a yoga mat or a folded blanket or towel. Begin by lying on your belly with your legs stretched out behind you, with the tops of your feet on the floor. Rotate your thighs inwards by turning your big toes towards each other.
2. Actively reach out with your toes away from your body, lengthening your tailbone towards your heel, to protect your lower back.
3. Next raise your elbows up so they are beneath your shoulders, and your forearms are flat against the floor, parallel to each other. Inhale and raise your head, lifting your upper body away from the floor and bending the spine.
4. Remain in this position for at least 10 breaths, increasing the duration as your ability increases.
Release on an exhale and return to the original position, turning your head to one side, before repeating.
This pose stretches the muscles of the chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen, whilst strengthening the spine and firming the buttocks. Mastery of this pose improves posture and stimulates the organs of the abdomen, while helping to relieve stress and fatigue. This pose can also help to relieve and soothe symptoms of sciatica and asthma.