I use a strap, since I normally feel tension in my shoulders, also my hips don’t allow for both feet on the ground as of yet. This pose feels very nice when I’ve been on the computer too long in a day.
“Yoga 4 Love’s Big Book of Yoga Postures” Lisa Ware E-RYT 500:
Stretches the ankles, hips and thighs, shoulders, armpits and triceps, and chest.
“The Key Muscles of Yoga” Ray Long MD:
“The upper arm stretches the lower fibers of the pectoralis major. The pectoralis minor contracts, drawing the scapula of the lower arm forward. The rhomboids of the lower arm contract to stabilize the scapula, lifting the ribcage. Eccentrically contracting the upper arm pectoralis major facilitates this stretch.”
External rotation of the shoulder girdle & upper arms.
“The upper arm infraspinatus contracts, stretching the subscapularis. The lower arm subscapularis contracts, stretching the infraspinatus.”
“The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga” Srivatsa Ramaswami:
Keep your palms on your feet and keep your back straight. Stay in pose for six long breaths. Switch legs to keep symmetry.
(this version does not have hands binded behind the back)
“Healing Yoga” Swami Ambikananda
“What the hands are engaged in directly impacts on the heart, and what the heart feels impacts on the hands.”
Legs in front, bending one leg and place heel alongside the opposite buttock. Bend other leg and place it on top of bent one. Reach up on arm on the side of the top leg, read around and up between the shoulder blades with opposite arm. Bind.
Use strap if the posture forces your head forward.