Ever stumble into a yoga class that’s a little above your abilities… only to have the teacher ask you to do this pose, utthita hasta padangusthasana?
Ever look around and think, “How the #@$%! am I supposed to balance if I can’t even reach my foot?”
If you are nodding in agreement, this pose, the Easy Side Leg Extension, is the missing interim step.
1. Sit down. Bend your left knee as in the illustration and place a belt around your right foot.
2. While keeping both your spine and your right knee straight, draw the leg up to your own natural limit. Stay for three slow, easy breaths.
3. Swing your right leg to the right and the left arm to the left. Use the belt—that’s why it’s there. Eventually you’ll be able to use less length on the belt or dispense with it. For now, stay for half a minute, semi-relaxed, breathing slowly and easily. Then repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Opens up your hip joints, loosens tight hamstrings, and provides a face-saving alternative to trying to do the standing-up version and then knocking everybody over when you fall.
Avoid if: Your lumbar spine feels tender, or if your knees, hip or shoulder joints hurt.
Final thoughts: Wait till every one of your accomplished classmates is balancing before sitting down to this alternative pose. That way they’ll be staring at you instead of over to the side, and will fall all over themselves. That’ll teach them to look nonchalant.
Like elephant yoga on Facebook.
Ed: Kate Bartolotta
hot on elephant
Elephant Journal’s Holiday Gift Guide 636 shares A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 522 shares Waylon’s favorite Ethical Gifts. 9 shares Join: Elephant’s Winter 2017 Academy. 27 shares Trevor Noah just won my Respect. 2,533 shares December Forecast: Letting Go of 2016 & Leaning into 2017 with Love. 6,162 shares Year of the Fire Rooster 2017: What to Expect. 590 shares How to Say Goodbye to that almost-great Love. 1,461 share For the Women who are Trying to Do & Be Everything to Everyone. 2,986 shares How to Say “F*ck it” to Fear & Anxiety (& Start Living your Life!). 827 shares