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September 2016 Issue
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Stretching for balance

The Warrior II back bend strengthens and stretches the legs and helps improve balance. Photo: Tony Gazley

The Warrior II pose on its own is excellent for strengthening and stretching the legs, but by adding a backbend you can challenge your balance and stretch through your sides.

  1. Start in a lunge with your right leg forward. Turn your left heel in and down to the ground so your foot is turning out at about a 45-degree angle.
  2. Your front right toes should be forward and the front foot in line with the arch or heel of the back foot.
  3. Lift your chest up and reach your right arm forward and left arm back.
  4. Bring your back hand to your back thigh.
  5. Reach up to the sky with your right hand. Then reach back slightly with your right hand and tip slightly back.
  6. Press down with your left hand to support you, and press your back left thigh up into your hand.
  7. Looking up will challenge your balance. Hold the pose for a few breaths. Bring your hands down. Then bring your hands to the ground and come back to a lunge and do the other side.