Begin by lying down on your belly. Lifting your head and chest off the floor, place your right forearm on the floor parallel to the front of the mat. Bend the left leg and reach back for the left foot. Beginners can take the outside of the foot here to bring the heel in toward the buttocks. Those with more open thighs will take the inside of the foot with the thumb facing up. Then, lifting the elbow toward the ceiling, rotate the left palm so that the hand presses into the top of the foot with the fingers curled around the toes.
As flexibility allows, you can take the left heel to the outside of the hip and press it down toward the floor (being careful not to stress the knee). Keep the tailbone tucked and make sure the left knee stays in line with the left hip. Also check to make sure that the thigh is centered (neither internally or externally rotated).
If you would like to deepen the stretch (adding a little bit of a backbend and deepen the opening on the quadriceps), you can take the pose with the right palm on the floor and the right arm straight, lifting the upper body further away from the floor. Be careful to open the front of the chest and lift the sternum so that you don’t compress the lower spine.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!