(from mountain middle of mat, facing long edge of mat)
Take a wide stance—arms parallel to floor (wide stance = ankles directly under wrists. More doable: shorten stance slightly).
Point big toes straight ahead. Make outer heels widest part of pose.
Pivot on heels—turn right foot in 60 degrees, left foot open 90 degrees.
Square hips to left.
Place right hand outside of right foot (more doable: place hand inside foot, under shoulder or use a block).
Look down. Line up head, top hand, with front leg.
Extend left hand up—arm vertical to floor.
Look up, out, or continue to look down.
Press feet down.
Tone thighs, tighten kneecaps, firm hamstrings.
Squeeze inner thighs of both legs toward each other.
Tighten glutes, press tailbone down.
Tone, turn abdomen up.
Move ribs back.
Repeat on the second side.
Keep hips steady and still. If the hips follow the twist, the shoulders will turn more but the spine will twist less; the twist must happen in the spine, not the hips.
Practice doesn’t reverse problematic patterns. Practice is the opportunity to align with what is optimal time after time after time. Even seasoned practitioners often relax quads and slacken kneecaps as they go into the twisting aspect of this pose.