The side angle stretch is a staple of the yogic discipline. It’ll stretch out your groin and hamstrings. It can also help to loosen up your shoulders and arms, removing tension in the process. When performing this exercise for the first time, be sure to follow the instructions and take it slow. Also, there’s no shame in using a yoga block or stack of books to support some of your weight and make this stretch a bit easier to perform.
Side Angle Stretch
Begin at the top of a pushup, supporting your body evenly with both palms.
Now take your right foot up between your hands in a lunge. Your right leg should be bent so that your thigh is parallel to the floor and forms a right angle with your calf.
Still supporting your body with both hands, allow your left foot to turn toes-out away from the mid-line of your body.
Shift your body weight into your right hand, and slowly lift your left hand off the mat, raising your left arm up towards the ceiling.
Allow your midsection and head to follow the upward motion of your left arm, twisting as you open out to the left.
If it’s uncomfortable for you to balance with your left arm up and body twisted in this way, consider using a yoga block or stack of books under your right hand to add stability and lessen the intensity of the stretch.
Hold for 5-10 breaths and then switch sides and repeat. You should feel looser throughout the insides and backs of your legs.