What it does: This pose provides a stronger stretch in the hamstrings than standing forward bend. It will also stretch the hips, spine and calves, as well as strengthen the legs as you work to maintain your balance.
How to do it: Stand with your feet together. As you exhale, step or jump your feet 3 to 4 feet apart and bring your hands to your hips. Pivot on your feet to the right, keeping the heels of your feet lined up. Angle your left foot to the left 30 to 45 degrees, and line up your right knee with your right ankle. Square your pelvis as much as is comfortable with the front of the room by moving the left hip forward, while keeping the back heel pressing into the ground. Firm the thighs on both legs. As you inhale lengthen your spine, arch your upper back slightly and draw your shoulder blades against your back. As you exhale, fold forward at your hips, stopping when your torso is parallel to the floor. Rest your fingertips on either side of your right foot, or on a block if you can’t reach the floor. Keep the hips parallel to the front of the room and your neck in a neutral position as you look down at your toes. To come out of the pose, bring your hands to your hips, press the back heel into the floor and lift up your torso on an inhale. Repeat on the other side.
How to get better: If your hamstrings are very tight, bend your front knee slightly while keeping the thigh firm. Over time, your lower belly will move closer to the thigh, but don’t force it.
Watch the video: How to do Intense Side Stretch>>