|Two of the Four Buddhist Guardian Kings of the Cardinal Directions at a temple in Shanghai. Photo taken during the author's travels around China in 2006.|
This posture - when done correctly with correct guidance - puts some serious strain on the hip tendons and can become quite painful at times, but afterwards one recovers very quickly and there are no detrimental side effects.
The opening hips and the raised leg are very similar in appearance to many Mahayana Buddhist statues depicting various characters from the pantheon of Bodhisattvas and guardians. In this sense, this posture feels much more like yoga than the previous ones.