Stage accentuation of bend

Beginners will find it difficult to hold their feet with their hands or touch the knees with their head; there is insufficient spinal flexibility. You should hold your legs as near as possible to the feet.

If you are very stiff then you can hold the back ofyour calves; ifyou are less stiff then you can hold the back of your ankles.

The palms should face forwards and be in contact with the back of the legs.

Then practise as follows:

Relax your back muscles.

Keep the legs straight.

Breathe in deeply.

Then with exhalation try to bring your forehead towards the knees. Do not strain.

The head should be gently pulled towards the knees by slowly tensing the arm muscles. The back and leg muscles should remain passive.

Do not worry if you cannot touch your head to your knees - this will come with regular practice as your back muscles become more supple. Under no circumstances should you utilize excessive muscular force.

If you cannot touch your head to the knees, then merely bend forwards as far as you can comfortably.

This is the final pose of stage 3. Breathe slowly and deeply.

Remain in this position for a minute or so, allowing the back muscles to relax and stretch. Then proceed to stage 4.

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