Begin sitting on the floor, legs extended. Bring the soles of the feet together with the knees out to the side, making a diamond shape with the legs.
Lie back either on the floor or a bolster. Place your hands on your belly or out to the sides.
Stay for five to ten breaths, or longer if part of a Yin or Restorative practice.
To come out, roll onto your side and use your hands to help you back up to sitting.
Use props to support your knees so that they can fall to the sides comfortably without over-stretching the inner thighs.
In restorative poses like this you may find your mind is more likely to wander. Try to observe the thoughts from a distance as they come into your head, letting them pass through as easily as they entered, without getting attached or involved in any stories. Use your breath as an anchor.
Stimulates the Kidney and Urinary Bladder meridians.
Reduces stress and calms the mind.
Increases mobility in the hips.
Watch out for
If you have any pain in your knees or groin use lots of props such as cushions under the knees or thighs to elevate them.
If you find your lower back is arching a lot you may need to place a bolster along the length of your spine.
If you are pregnant it is not advisable to lie flat on your back for too long. Instead, you can practise this pose with your back supported against a wall or high stack of cushions. Be mindful that your hips and pelvis will be more flexible/ less stable due to the hormone relaxin in your body, use extra cushions to support your knees and don’t go for your maximum stretch. The same applies if you are still breastfeeding. Read Sandra Carson’s article Prenatal yoga: tips for new and experienced yoginis for more on this.
You can use props to support you in different ways in the pose – read the Beginners tips and Watch out for sections for suggestions.
Savasana is a good alternative to this pose if you are not able to use props to get comfortable in it.