Square pose

Step by step

  • From a seated position, straighten your right leg out, and place your left ankle under your right knee.
  • Bend the right leg (without moving the left) and place the right foot in front of the left knee.
  • Fold forward from the hips and allow your spine to round.
  • Place your hands down, or rest on your elbows.
  • Hold the pose for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • You are looking for sensations in the outer parts of the thighs, buttocks, hips and around the sacrum.
  • To come out of the pose, lean back on your hands and straighten the legs. Take a few moments to integrate the effects of this pose before moving on to a counter pose.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Beginners tips

  • Easy pose may be enough external rotation for you.
  • If your knees stay high up, try sitting up on a cushion and place blocks or blankets under your knees.

Benefits

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

Watch out for

  • ​​​​​​​​Can aggravate Sciatica
  • Make sure you avoid any discomfort in your knees. If this occurs, try separating your knees further apart and supporting with blocks. If discomfort persists, try the Eye of the Needle pose.
  • In case of lower back issues, practise Eye of the Needle pose.
  • If pregnant, avoid folding forward after the First Trimester.

Variations

  • 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 or a bolster under the elbows if needed.
  • For deeper sensations, stack ankles and knees over each other. However, if your knees lift up, bring the shins back in front of each other.
  • 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 or Reversed Tabletop