Stretches the legs, hips, spine, shoulders and wrists.
Strengthens the legs and core.
Improves balance and digestion.
Stimulates the abdominal organs and digestion.
Calms the mind.
Watch out for
Avoid folding lower than you can with a straight spine.
To protect your knees and hamstrings do not lock the joint.
If you have back or shoulder injuries, adjust your hand position and the depth of the pose.
Try keeping your arms outstretched alongside the ears to increase the challenge.
Try the pose with the back heel lifted.
Add in some extra work for the back muscles by lifting the arms out to the sides, elbows bent, and squeezing the shoulder blades together as you inhale. Lower the arms down as you exhale. Repeat three or four times.