4· Exhale, bend the trunk forward and rest the chest on the right thigh. Keep the arms straight and the palms together. (Plate r6.) Rest in this position, taking two breaths.
5· Now exhale and simultaneously lift the left leg from the floor by swinging the body slightly forward and also straighten the right leg, making it stiff as a poker. Turn the left leg inward so that the front is parallel to the floor.
6. Hold in this pose from 20 to 30 seconds, with deep and even breathing.
7· While balancing, the whole body (except the right leg) is to be kept parallel to the floor. The right leg, which should be fully stretched and stiff, should be kept perpendicular to the floor. Pull the back of the right thigh and stretch the arms and the left leg as if two persons are pulling you from either end.
8. Exhale and come back to Virabhadrasana.
9· Repeat the pose on the left side.
The illustration (Plate 17) conveys the harmony, balance, poise and power attained by practicing this asana. It helps to contract and tone the abdominal organs and makes the leg muscles more shapely and sturdy. It is recommended for runners, as it gives vigour and agility. All the movements of this asana improve one’s bearing and carriage. When we stand badly, by throwing the weight on the heels, we retard symmetrical growth and hamper spinal elasticity. Standing with the weight on the heels causes the stomach to protrude and lessens bodily and mental agility. This asana helps one to stand firmly on the soles of the feet, keeps the stomach muscles in and gives agility to the body and the mind.