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Updated: Dec 16, 2019

This pose is intense in many ways: it challenges your balance and backbend capability while stretching the front of the legs at the same time. And trust me, that is A LOT.

Here's what to pay attention to

The trick is to go SLOW and set the foot & the hand that stay on the mat as far away from each other as possible, meaning left hand close to left edge of mat + right foot close to right edge of mat. As usual with backbends: avoid exploding the flexibility of your lower back, instead guide the stretch into the front of thigh, thoracic spine and shoulder.

Step by step

1. Start in Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) with both feet on your feet (hip width apart) and both hands on your mat (shoulder width apart). The distance between hand and feet can be shorter than the usual Downdog you normally practice, which makes it possibly easier to lower the heels down, hence "short" Downdog.

2. We'll start with our right arm, which means you can extend your left leg back. Feel free to change sides as you like, but make sure to grab the opposite leg, not the foot on the same side (ie. don't grab left foot with left hand).

3. In order to catch the foot in the air, we need to bend the leg. If you can not reach your leg in Step 4, feel free to use a strap.

4. Now the balancing game start: If you rush too fast, you will fall over. I can almost guarantee this, because it has happened to me before :) So, walk your right hand slowly back. Maybe stay on fingertips first, then extend right arm back in the air before moving over to Step 5.