Getting into the pose
1. First of all come into Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A, by bending the right knee and drawing it into the body, with the left hand on the left hip.
2. Then take the peace grip around the big toe (index and middle finger bind around the big toe, thumb pops on top), and slowly start to extend the leg out straight in front of you (it doesn’t matter how bent or straight the leg is, as long as the body is in an upright position).
3. When comfortably balanced, begin to open the right leg to the right-hand side. Notice how the weight of the body on the grounded (left) foot starts to shift and try to work with it.
4. Again, don’t worry about how bent or straight that leg is. Once comfortable, with the left hand still on the hip, you can start to shift your gaze over the left shoulder.
5. Hold here for 5 inhales and exhales, before returning that leg to Utthita Hasta Padangustasana A and lowering with control once released.
6. Practice this posture on the left side, to maintain balance in the body.
Alignment points once in the pose
– Allow yourself to wobble and fall out of the pose! Balances take time, patience and resilience so don’t expect yourself to get it straight away and be kind to yourself when you fall out of it.
– Fix your eyes on a point to help you maintain concentration
– Keep your breath going nice and strong, holding the breath causes the body to tense up and we want to keep it nice and fluid
– Really press the big toe into the fingers, to help with posture the counterbalance
– Try to relax shoulders away from the ears, stop them creeping up!
– Keep the belly locked into the spine
– Aim to stack the joints (shoulders over hips, over knees, over ankles), because the moment we stack the joints in the body, the asana becomes lighter
– Double check to see that you’re not leaning too far back, that the chest is open but not causing you to create a banana back