You can't go to a yoga class and NOT do this pose. It's called Warrior 2 and it's great for opening tight hips and shoulders and strengthening quads, calves, and shins. It also works your core muscles, because when you're in this pose, you really have to concentrate on elongating your spine and drawing your belly in.
- You can get into this pose from Downward Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward between your palms, and come into Warrior 1.
- After creating a strong base with your feet and lower body, open your hips, arms, and chest, coming into Warrior 2. Ideally you want your front thigh to be parallel to the ground, and your right knee directly over your right ankle.
- Press into the outside edge of your left foot to prevent from collapsing into the arch of your foot. Make sure your shoulders are stacked directly above your pelvis.
- Once you've checked yourself for correct alignment, you can gaze passed your right fingertips. Hold for 5 or more breaths, return to Downward Facing Dog before stepping your left foot forward for the other side.
Fit's Tips: Just so you know, when I first learned this pose, I couldn't stand it because it was so hard to hold. My thigh muscles burned after 2 breaths. As you practice it more, you'll build strength in your legs, and you'll really feel your hips beginning to open. Now I can't get enough!