Seated Straddle Pose
In seated straddle pose, you will strengthen and stretch your hamstrings.
How to do it:
Sit in Dandasana or Staff Pose, with your legs stretched out in front of you and your spine as straight as possible. Relax here for a few breaths.
On your next Inhale, take both legs out until your legs are the fullest V possible without over-stretching your hamstrings or inner thighs. Sit up high with a straight spine, and you can use a pillow or a block for sitting on if that is more comfortable. With both of your legs stretched out, place your palms on the floor behind you and widen the legs out even more without over-stretching and then relax and take a few breaths.
On your next exhale, bring your torso to a forward bend. Walk your hands slowly forward between your legs. You can try and get a hold of your toes. With the support of holding onto the toes, which you want to point upwards, expand your chest and your neck and bring your face close to the floor.
Try to relax here, taking your spine forward with every breath out. Try not to put too much pressure on your inner thighs.
When your upper torso is relaxed, try letting go of your toes and stretch your arms out in front of you, taking your chest even deeper towards the floor. Do only as much as it feels useful to you; you should feel a good stretch, but if it’s painful, you need to stop, to avoid any injury to your pelvic bones.
As you fold in closer to the floor, your ribs should be touching the ground first, then if you go even deeper, your chin. If your forehead touches the ground first, and there is space between your chest and the earth, then the spine is not straight and too curved.
You can stay in this posture for as long as it’s comfortable for you, if you can hold this pose for 3 minutes or longer, just like in other poses, this will change your connective tissue (fascia) positively. When you get out of this pose, inhale, then raise your body slowly up, vertebrae by vertebra. Straighten your back and exhale completely.
Slowly bring your legs together and relax.
Benefits of this pose:
Your legs, arms and wrists muscles are engaged. This posture improves the flexibility of your joints and your muscles. Also, your core muscles are getting a workout as well.
This pose is also very beneficial for improving your flexibility in your quadriceps, hamstrings, hips calves, knees, shoulders, chest, upper abdomen, and arms.
This yoga pose helps to improve all of your internal organs; it stimulates the nervous system and increases your blood circulation.
Another benefit of this pose is that it helps in massaging the reproductive organs and pelvic muscles to cure any form of menstrual disorders.
Seated straddle pose also helps well in reducing the fat around your legs, arms, tummy and your neck. The toning of your body will happen gradually with the stretch of these various muscles.
This pose is believed to be very useful for the recovery of arthritis and provides relief from the pain associated with it. This pose also helps in pain relief for sciatica to a great extent. It is also very beneficial for the detox of the kidneys.
As this pose brings the main focus to your inner thigh muscles and your spine (usually the most stiff parts of the body), it is required that the breath is in coordination with the movement of your body. This brings awareness to your breath as well as your body giving you room for concentration and calmness of your mind.