Shoelace pose

Step by step

  • From a seated position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, bring your left foot to the outside edge of your right hip, sliding it underneath your right knee.
  • Bring your right foot to the outside edge of your left hip, stacking the knees on each other.
    OR:
  • From all fours, place one knee behind the other, take your heels as wide as is comfortable, then sit back between your heels.
  • Ground both sitting bones and eventually fold forward from the hips, allowing your spine to round.
  • You are looking for sensations along the hips and in the buttocks and maybe a gentle stretch along the spine.
  • Hold for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • To come out of the pose, use your hands to gently press the floor away and slowly roll up your spine. Place your hands behind you and lean back to release the legs.
  • Take a few moments to integrate the effects of this pose before performing it on the other side. 

Beginners tips

  • Try leaving the bottom leg stretched out in front of you.
  • If the sitting bones are not evenly grounded, try sitting on a block or a cushion. 

Benefits

  • Increases hip mobility, especially external rotation.
  • Decompresses the lower back.
  • Massages the organs of digestion through compression while folding forward.
  • Stimulates the Gallbladder and Urinary bladder meridians.

Watch out for

  • Avoid any discomfort in your knees. If this occurs, or in case of knee injuries, try the Eye of the Needle pose.
  • Can aggravate Sciatica.
  • In case of back issues either keep the spine straight or explore the Eye of the Needle pose.
  • If pregnant, do not fold forward after the First Trimester. 

Variations

  • Place a folded blanket between the knees for support, especially in case of discomfort in the top knee.
  • Place a bolster across your legs to support your chest while folding over.
  • If the neck is sensitive, support your head with your hands by placing the elbows down. Use blocks under the elbows if needed.
  • You can bend sideways instead of folding forward to target the side body.
  • You can incorporate a gentle twist before coming out of the pose. Use your hands to slowly roll up, ground your sitting bones to find length in your spine and gently twist towards the side of your upper leg.

Alternative poses

Counter poses

  • Windshield Wipers
  • Reversed Tabletop