Yin Yoga Forward Fold / Caterpillar Pose
Caterpillar pose is a straight-legged forward fold. It helps to lengthen the ligaments that run along the spine, activates the hamstrings, and compresses the abdomen aiding in digestion. It also triggers the Urinary Bladder channel that runs along the back line of the legs and along either side of the spine.
As you set up the posture, there a number of modifications you can use to make it more accessible. Make sure you use height under your hips if you have a history of sciatica or your pelvis tilts back when folding forward. If you have a history of disc issues in your back keep your back straight instead of rounding forward. You can keep your feet together or bring them apart as you fold. You can bend your knees or place support under your knees if you have tight hamstrings or history of injury.
Feel free to round forward and drop your head to bring the opening all the way up the back of your body if you have a healthy back and neck. Otherwise, straighten the back and support the neck and head.
If you have limitations or you're not practicing forward folding you can always do a variation of this pose by lying on your back and placing your legs up the wall (legs up the wall pose) or by laying on your back and using a strap over one foot at a time (supta padangusthasana).