A great way to open the inner hips, this is a pretty straightforward pose, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
To begin, from Tadasana, step the feet out about to the width of your mat (closer if you are really open in the ankles and inner hips) and turn the feet out about 45 degrees or so. Drop the sit bones to the floor as you lean forward in the torso to bring the hands to the mat. Once you feel steady, bring the palms together in front of the heart with the outer arms very lightly pressing back on the legs (or more accurately, pressing the torso forward). You can step the feet further out to the sides to get the whole foot to the floor, or take a blanket underneath the heels if necessary. Making sure the heels press into something (floor or blanket) is important for gradually developing ankle flexibility.
Check in with the feet. They should be as close to the angle of the thighs as possible. This will help keep strain out of the knee joint. Try to move the knees forward until you find equal weight to heels and toes. Lengthen the spine by lifting the crown of the head to the ceiling. Stay broad across the front of the shoulders and bring the shoulder blades comfortably down the back. Hold for as long as you like.
A great way to really sink into the pose for longer periods of time is to take the squat with your back against a wall for a little support.
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!