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A classic yoga pose, with fantastic benefits. There are two main areas which can be well stretched in this pose, depending on how you take it. If the heels are firmly placed on the floor, most people (with tighter hamstrings) will feel the stretch in the back of the legs, calves, etc.

However, if the heels are allowed to rise, the knees bent (taking the stress off the hamstrings), the hips rotated upwards (sticking the backside out and up), and the back allowed to arch inwards towards the ground, the upper back will drop in-between the shoulders more. And this version (the male picture) brings a great opening in the middle back aided by the pull of gravity on the upper body, helped by the freedom and slack coming from the knees being slightly bent.


This pose in any form strengthens the shoulders immensely and directs blood flow the upper body which is extremely beneficial in itself.