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. Place your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders with your elbows bent.

2. On an inhalation, straighten your arms and lift your chest of the floor, whilst pushing your thighs, feet and pelvis firmly into the floor.

3. Keep the shoulder-blades firmly pushed against the back, and make sure that the spine is evenly bent throughout its entire length.

4. Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, increasing the duration as your ability increases. Release on an exhale and return to the original position, 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.

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