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1. From Staff posture with the arms behind your hips and the fingers pointed either towards or away from your body, begin to lean back into the palms.

2. Inhale and press down into the palms to lift the hips up toward the ceiling. As the hips lift, engage the legs by pulling up the knee caps and squeezing the thighs.

3. Press the bottoms of the feet flat down into the floor, gently squeeze the buttocks and engage Mula Bandha. Draw the shoulder blades together to lift up through the sternum.

4. Align the body from the toes to the shoulders in one straight line. If it feels safe you can carefully drop the head back.

5. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.

6. To release: slowly exhale the hips back to the floor.

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• The muscles of the back, legs and shoulders are stretched during this asana.

• The spine becomes suppler as a result.

• The stretching of the spine improves the functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system.

• The wrists become stronger and suppler at the same time.

• The ankles become suppler and stronger too.

• It improves the sense of balance.

• The abdominal muscles are stretched and the organs in the region massaged.

• The endocrine gland benefits greatly from this pose.

• Kidney function improves as does diuresis.

• It is beneficial to the sex glands.

• Women benefit with the ovarian function returning to normal.

• It helps to impart a sense of calm.

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