INTENSE WEST STRETCH
Keep knees bent or legs straight (if hamstrings are tight separate feet outer hip width apart).
Hold big toes with first two fingers, thumbs.
Lift chin slightly, look straight ahead.
Place torso against thighs, face against shins.
Round back evenly.
Point elbows down, palms up.
If legs are straight: tone thighs, tighten kneecaps, firm hamstrings, press thighs and heels down.
If knees are bent: dig heels into floor.
Lift pelvic floor.
Press fingers, big toes together to help strengthen legs.
Squeeze legs together.
Lift chest, stretch spine.
Use arms to help lengthen spine.
Extend shoulders forward, elbows down.
In Light on Yoga on page166 B.K. S. Iyengar states Paschima literally means west. Implying that this pose stretches the entire back of the body from the head to the heels. Ugrasana is another name for Paschimottansana. Mr. Iyengar defines Ugra as formidable, powerful and noble.