Hatha Yoga – the Posterior-Stretching Pose

“I am safe. I am sound. All good things come to me. They give me peace.”*

There are always a couple of poses that I tend to tune in to more than others at any given time. The posterior-stretching pose is always a favourite. There’s just something so…. comforting about it.

  1. I begin by sitting on the floor with a straight spine, legs relaxed in front of me, hands on the floor by my hips.
  2. Inhaling, I gently raise my arms (from my sides with hands palms up) up over my head, stretching tall, but without strain.
  3. Exhaling, I lower my hands forward toward my feet and my head down toward my knees, stopping short of strain.
  4. I relax here for a few moments, breathing naturally, letting the muscles stretch gently on their own. After a time, I inhale deeply and then exhale as I consciously stretch from the hips to relax more deeply into the posture, stopping short of any pain.
  5. I take a moment to make sure that my spine is long, head and shoulders relaxed, and chest and abdomen are open.
  6. Remaining in this position I affirm, “I am safe. I am sound. All good things come to me; they give me peace.” I repeat the affirmation several times. It is important to feel the affirmation vibrating through your entire being. Rote repetition is like being on a stationary bicycle trying to get from Point A to Point B. There’s a lot of movement, but you’re not going anywhere anytime soon. I imagine all my bones and muscles, every atom of my being, saturated with this feeling of safety and peace.
  7. After 2-3 minutes (15-30 seconds is good for beginners), I inhale deeply and stretch slightly forward. I then begin to sit up, raising the hands toward the ceiling, and feeling the energy in the spine rising with the movement. Exhaling, I slowly lower the arms (palms up**) down by my sides bringing them to rest by my hips or in my lap.

Resting between the poses is very important to allow body, mind and spirit to assimilate the work that has been done. I allow 30-60 seconds of just being before moving into my next pose.

2-22-2015 Brigitte
Brigitte Relaxes a Bit Too Much into the Posterior Stretching Pose, All Rights Reserved






The physical benefits of this pose include stretching of the tendons behind the legs and knees, toning up the nervous system, and improved functioning of the abdominal and pelvic organs. It can also help improve digestive problems.


*All my hatha yoga affirmations are from “Spiritual Yoga – Awakening to Higher Awareness.” Crystal Clarity Publishers.

**Yoga is about energy and details are important. I move the arms with the palms upward, rather than downward, to invite a constant flow of upward  energy in the spine even when I’m physically relaxing downward.



2 thoughts on “Hatha Yoga – the Posterior-Stretching Pose

  1. I am really faithful to my yoga classes twice a week, but I don’t yet make a practice at home, and that’s the gap I’m feeling. What I like about this pose is I could do this in my office. I’ve often felt the need to stretch and calm and ‘tune in” but I’ve not been sure what I would do–I was sure I’d be too self-conscious. I think this would be perfect! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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