Also known as Intense Stretch of the Flank, if you are not a Sanskrit Snob
This is SUCH a nice stretch for the, well, flank. Great for the runners and cyclists out there, and all people, like me, who have tight Iliotibial bands.
It, like most of yoga’s fundamental standing poses, can be modified for just about anyone to do safely. (Forward bends do tend to be contraindicated for lumbar disc compression or other low back issues.)
The foot position can be modified the same way as for Warrior Pose, to get equal weight between front and back legs, and level out the pelvis. I am personally a fan of a shorter, wider stance : it tends to get rid of the most common misalignment I see when teaching, which looks like this:
Back hip twisted upwards, ribs on that side also twisted upwards. This can be…unfortunate…for the low back, knees, and si joints (yes, them again) if practiced over and over and over in this way.
The other misalignment I see, that I’m not incredibly happy with, is hunching of the lower back, with no support from the upper body, leading to loaded torsion. I am not a fan of loaded torsion in yoga. I reckon why take the chance with compressing the discs in your lower back when up to 85% of people have suffered from back pain. You know? This lady’s lower back is more hunched than I’d like to see:
This could easily be remedied by adding blocks, and lifting the chest a bit:
Or, if there were no block about, by bending her front knee, lifting her chest a bit, and resting her hands on her front leg.
Or by doing the pose with her hands against a wall…