I actually like coming to this pose from a side plank, and using it as a prep for gate/compass. Side bending is not one of my fortes so anytime I have the chance to practice them I try to. It is important no to negate any part of your body, because if you were without it, you would probably miss it. It is important to see the vitality in everything, especially within yourself. There are many ways to enter this pose from easy pose, side plank, tabletop, or even a yogi squat. I am going to explain how to come from easy pose, or heroes pose (whatever your name preference may be I’m talking about coming from sitting on your knees) Come into your kneeling position, placing the knees hip width apart. From here step the right leg straight out to the side with the foot flat on the floor, toes facing forward and pressing into the mat from the outside as much as the inside. Carefully lower the left hand to the floor, directly under the shoulder. Breathing here, take the right arm up and over the head with the palm facing the floor. Press the hips forward, arch the spine back, and let the head drop back. Press the left foot into the floor and use your core to steady and lift you, as you reach out through the left fingers, making a half circle shape with the left side of your body. Breathe and hold for 3-5 breaths. As you become ready to exit the pose, take a deep breath in and bring the arms up parallel to the floor, then exhale the hands to the hips and step the foot back into a kneeling position. From here step the left leg straight out to the side with the foot flat on the floor as you did with the right, and repeat on this side.