I have been teaching yoga for 17 years, and one of the most frequent complaints I hear from students and yogaphobes alike is that they don’t have enough time for practice, so they avoid it altogether.

Avoiding a regular practice of stretching will never get you the healing benefits that come with the work. Even if you only do one pose a day, you will make a huge difference in your body, brain and well-being.

So I am here to entice you to try ONE pose — just this one. You don’t need to memorize a sequence. You won’t even need a lot of space or props. This pose can be done every single day, as a 5 minute beginner yoga practice, and it will decompress your back and lengthen your hamstrings, IT band and calves. It also strengthens your abdominals and back while stretching the chest, and for an added bonus, massages your internal organs!

This too-good-to-be-true pose is my absolute favorite pose, and I have yet to meet a student in my Yoga Tune Up® classes, privates or workshops who doesn’t exclaim a deep primal “Ohhggmmmnnuugghaaah!” when they do this pose correctly.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the wondrous powers of Leg Stretch #3, the ultimate yoga pose.

How To Do This All-In-One Yoga Pose

To get the maximum benefit out of this pose, attempt to follow the directions precisely. The better your alignment, the better the results! Position yourself on your back, in a corner by two walls. You will need to have a yoga brick (which can be substituted with a book or even a water bottle).

Leg Stretch #3 can be your new best friend.

  • Lay on your right side facing wall No. 1 with your outstretched right arm plus the brick touching wall No. 1. Both feet are planted on wall No. 2.
  • Cross the left leg to firmly anchor into wall No. 1, and press right arm and brick into wall No. 1 as well.
  • The sole of the right foot still presses against wall No. 2.
  • The left arm and torso rotate away from wall No. 1 to induce a deep spinal twist.
  • Increase the stretch in the outer left buttocks, hamstrings and IT band by shifting the left sit bone and buttock toward wall No. 2.
  • Increase the stretch through the upper back and chest by firmly pressing your right arm into the brick, and feel the stretch thread through the collar bones as you increase your twist.
  • Occasionally emphasize the twist by compressing the abdominals.
  • Be patient and breathe deeply into the abdomen and lower back.
  • Do not tense the jaw or eyes. Do not be aggressive or put your leg into intolerable pain. Move progressively and with awareness.
  • After 90 seconds to two minutes, switch sides

Historically, being “put in a corner” means “time out.” After practicing this pose once or twice, you will be running to a corner to make your own “time out.”

Empower yourself. Practice your new all-in-one-pose yoga practice and feel the instant transformation.

Read about the most important part of a yoga pose.

Learn about Yoga Tune Up at home.

Find a Yoga Tune Up class or workshop near you.

[Reprinted with permission from Gaiam Life.]

Jill Miller

Jill Miller, C-IAYT, ERYT is the co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide and creator of the self-care fitness formats Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method. With more than 30 years of study in anatomy and movement, she is a pioneer in forging relevant links between the worlds of fitness, yoga, massage, athletics and pain management. She is known as the Teacher’s Teacher and has trained thousands of movement educators, clinicians, and manual therapists to incorporate her paradigm shifting self-care fitness programming into athletic and medical facility programs internationally. She has crafted original programs for 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox, YogaWorks, and numerous professional sports teams. She and her team of 500+ trainers help you to live better in your body with an emphasis on proprioception, mobility, breath mechanics and recovery. She has presented case studies at the Fascia Research Congress and International Association of Yoga Therapy conferences. She has the rare ability to translate complex physiological and biomechanical information into accessible, relevant moves that help her students transform pain, dysfunction and injury into robust fitness. Jill is the anatomy columnist for Yoga Journal Magazine and has been featured in Shape, Men’s Journal, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, Yoga Journal, Self, and on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Jill is regularly featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She is the creator of dozens of DVD’s including Treat While You Train with Kelly Starrett DPT and is the author of the internationally bestselling book The Roll Model: A Step by Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility and Live Better in your Body. Based in Los Angeles, CA, she is a wife and mother of two small children and is currently writing her second book.

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Yiman Xiao

Absolutely golden role’The better your alignment, the better the results!’ Thanks!

poirsha

My hamstrings are in need of a nice stretch now! This is great for right before bed to initiate relaxation. Maybe have a blanket on the abdomen and pelvis to encourage more stillness and comfort.

RAUL

From my personal standpoint, one single pose is not enough. Twist, stretching, breathing awarenes helpful but not enough for a Yoga practice and 5 minutes neither. sorry but these can help for people who are in a pretty difficult situación as an illness matter but never as an excercise day routine. In japan some manufactures companies take 10 minutes for four or five times at day every journal work.

Maria Kiekari

This is one of my favorite postures already! it gives a deep stretch, release and nervous system regulation. I agree, if i could do just one posture a day, would be this!

Marlene

This is a favorite pose for me and has so many benefits . It’s easy for beginners as well as people with busy schedules

DOLORES ROMERA

Hermosa postura, se siente tan profunda…intensa y suave a la vez, acompañando con la respiración. Maravilloso masaje para los órganos internos. Qué buena idea proponer a los alumnos, aunque sea una postura. Otorga la posibilidad de explorar y reconocer el propio cuerpo y sus posibilidades. Gracias por este artículo!

Rob

This closed chain variation of this pose is amazing!

I had never actually really liked this pose until I tried it this way 🙂

Samantha

Really looking forward to trying this pose in a corner! The instructions are very clear and I love doing closed chain poses and teaching the variations to my students.

Agata Wojno

I like your explanations about all in one pose.
I am glad such a pose exist, will add it to my busy days and will challenge myself to do this pose regularly!

Lisa

I just tryed this all in one pose, your explanations are very clear. I will challenge myself to do this pose every day during the next week to see the evolutio.

Martine Lauzon

I do really love this pose! I was originally drawn to this blog article because of the title and I am not disappointed! Yes there is an OMG when you get this one right lol! Closing the chain against the wall is also a great idea! I have definitely won some ‘yogaphobes’ over with this too lol Thanks for sharing Jill!

Sunee

I just tried this and it feels great! Can’t wait to make it a regular part of my daily practice so I can continue to see how it changes over time.

deborah liu

wow. wow. wow. i am going to commit to doing this daily and see what happens to my body. thank you.

alice yuan

I love this pose! “Leg stretch #3”

My favorite part comes when the pose is complete, I take a very big abdominal breath (or voluma breath/3 part breath) and as I exhale, I go into my twist a little deeper.

I do not have a lot of natural range of motion in my twists (tight torso) but this pose really help me to feel the twist I am unable to feel otherwise AND I LOVE THE CLOSED CHAINS at the corners!!

Gilles

Thank you sharing thaïs pose. I will shore it. Great pose!

Véronique Lamothe

I share this article to my students right now!!

Myriam Goulet

Wow, what a great pose! as said looks like it taking care of the whole body all at once. Looking forward to try it.

Marie-Eve

As mots of people are short of Time, this pose is definitly one I am going to recommand a lot ! Simple and effective are 2 important advantages for me.

Betty Homer

Yes, I am always short on time so this is perfect on those nights when I don’t get home until very late. This will also serve my clients are similarly situated as myself. Thank you!

Gretchen Corbin

I love this pose and every student that I’ve taught it to has had that same primal reaction when they learn how to do it correctly.
I don’t often do it in a corner and this was the first time I tried closing the chain with the arm and a block at the wall. What a great way to include more upper body opening. Thank you! I’m now looking for more corners in my life.

Kristin

I am gonna share this with my athletes. I am curious if this would be ok for someone with scoliosis. How it could be modified for them to be safe or if it a must be avoided. There seem to be different schools of thought regarding movements in the spine when scoliosis exists. I even think about what this would look like if x-rayed. Just my stream of consciousness!

Geoff Brown

This a great pose that you can feel stretching and strengthening throughout your entire engaged body. I also love that the back is supported by the floor making Leg Stretch 3 more accessible to all different kinds of flexibility.

Kathy

Who can resist the lure of One Stop Shopping. This is such a favorite of mine that I rearranged my living room and threw out furniture just so I can do it!

Jane

I’m running off to the corner as I speak! Does it get any better than this?… The closed chains provided by the walls are ideal for deepening and enhancing the stretches and twist.. I particularly like the cue to relax the jaw and eyes and to move with mindful awareness in this pose.

Amalea

Love all the closed chains in this pose.There are many people I know that don’t want to do a flow class or even a yoga class. It’s good to have poses like this that give results to coax people into practicing more.

Helen McAvoy

I love the leg stretch 1,2 & 3! It has made a BIG difference in my hips and especially my IT bands ! This is such a wonderful and creative way to cover it all.

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Karina

I love this pose and I have never thought about it as an all-in-one pose. It is wonderful to know about so many benefits it gives! I am going to practise it as often as I can.

Dawn Adams

We explored this pose in the “Friday” restorative hips class of the YTU teacher training yesterday, and as I moved through the practice, I truly felt the whole body benefit of exploring this position at different heights (floor, block level 1, block level 2) and the rejuvenation of my low back and IT band from this supported version of Parivrtta Trikonasana. I really like this version that’s pictured with the corner, helping to close the chain, since most of us don’t have a partner to practice with. I found that I lose my axis when I roll over onto my… Read more »

Christina Cruz

This is just what I was looking for… a great pose to ease back pressure with many additional benefits. Thank you!!

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Sherry Matwe

I have just come off a YTU Teacher’s training, I am teaching my second week after this intensive coarse and this is a pose I am adding to class tonight – I am thrilled to describe it as an all in one pose. I am suggesting leg strech 1 2 3 for all my runners. Looking forward to practising this with my fello yogi’s tonight.

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[…] as Leg Stretch #3) twist his pelvis away from the compressed lumbar spine. This is also my favorite All-In-One Pose that I recommend when you only have 5 minutes to […]

Alexandra

I LOVE THIS!!!! I work in an office full of men and I decided to see if I could get one of these gym guys to do this. I did… and he LOVED it! I think this is a great option for people who are not into yoga or stretching. Even for someone like myself with a daily practice, its a great opportunity to get out of my chair and find a quite spot for a “time out”!
Thanks so much for posting!