Eka Bhuja Swastikasana

One-Armed Swastika Pose: In One-Armed Swastika Pose I, your body looks like one of the crosspieces of the ancient Asian symbol of good luck.

To come into the pose, lie face-down with your arms stretched out perpendicular to your sides, palms down. Make sure your hands are level with your forehead rather than stretched straight out from your shoulders. On an exhalation, without moving your right arm, roll onto your right side and reach your left hand straight back toward your right one. Bend your left knee and bring the sole of your foot to the floor. Draw your spine long, extending down through your tailbone toward your feet and up through the crown of your skull, and turn your head to the left so you look up toward the ceiling. (If this neck position isn’t comfortable, experiment until you find one that is.)

If you already experience a strong stretch where your inner upper right arm meets your chest, pause here, breathing smoothly and evenly and allowing the stretched muscles to relax. If you’re comfortable stretching further, bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot on the ground next to your left; then lift your right fingers up and reach your left hand back to grasp them. (It’s normal to fumble and feel disoriented at first as you reach for your right fingers.)

Either reach your left fingers straight down along your right ones and draw your right hand back toward your body, or for more of a stretch to your left shoulder, grasp your right palm from the thumb side to draw it back, and bend your left elbow down toward or even onto the floor.

Once you find an edge in your stretch, pause and breathe smoothly and evenly for 15 to 45 seconds, then gently release your hands, roll back onto your belly and chest, and straighten your legs. Pause to notice and absorb the changes in your body before performing the pose on the other side.