Destroyer of the universe pose is a powerful opener for the hips and hamstrings and challenge for the body's strength and balance. Additional benefits of destroyer of the universe pose include strengthening the upper body and core.
This posture should only be attempted by advanced practitioners of yoga because of the levels of flexibility and athleticism required. In Ashtanga yoga, this posture is not introduced until the third series.
In another variation of destroyer of the universe pose, the leg remains behind the head, but the body reclines backward rather than assuming a side plank position. This still provides an extremely strong hip and hamstring stretch.