Balance, Strength, Legs, Core, Hips
Balancing poses in yoga are extremely meditative, and link them together and they can be quite the challenge, too! Test your balance in this funky flow!
Start in mountain pose with your feet hips-width distance apart. Root your feet deeply into your mat. Engage your thighs, find a slight tuck of the tailbone and pull the lower ribs together. Relax your shoulders down your back. With your arms by your sides, bring energy into your fingertips. Head is high and gaze is steady. Breathe here.
Lord of the Dance (Natarajasana)
Root down into your right foot and bend your left knee, kicking your left foot in towards your seat. Reach down with your left hand and grab the top of your foot. Extend your right arm up. Tilt your chest forward as you kick your left foot into your hand. Reach your right fingertips forward and find a backbend. Keep your hips square to the ground and each other.
Carefully, release the left hand from the foot and extend the left leg straight behind you. Stay engaged in the right standing leg. Reach both hands forward and tilt your chest closer to the earth, until your torso and left leg are parallel with the mat.
Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
Slowly set your left toes on the back end of the mat and bend into the right knee. Your chest lifts and your arms reach up to the sky. In your crescent lunge, work to find a 90 degree bend in the right knee. Stay active through the backside of the left leg and core.
Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)
Press into the ball of the left foot to give you some momentum as your step forward to balance again on the right foot. As you straighten the right leg, left knee comes forward and your peace fingers wrap around your left big toe. Standing tall, straighten your left leg out in front of you, while maintaining tension in the left fingers. Your right hand can be on your hip. Pull your left shoulder and hip back slightly, as you stay strong in the lifted leg.
Figure Four (Ardha Utkatasana)
Release the left big toe and guide the left ankle to the top of the right knee, as you sink the hips for figure four. Left knee peels open and left toes stay flexed. Bring your hands to heart center. Hips push backwards into your squat and maintain a slight lift in the chest.
One Legged Mountain Variation (Eka Pada Tadasana Variation)
Releasing the left ankle off of the knee, stand tall again into the right leg. Engage your core to kick your left leg straight out in front of you. (Pointing the toes helps!) Send your hands up to the sky and keep your shoulders stacked over your hips. See if you can hold this challenging pose for five breaths.
Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)
Slowly, sweep your left leg back behind you and begin to stack the left hip over the right. As your hips stack, drop your right fingers down towards the ground and reach your left hand up to the sky, shoulders stacking here. Your torso and left leg are parallel to the mat, with your body opening to the left side of the mat. Actively flex your left foot and keep your gaze steady.
Keeping your balance, begin to close off the hips and tuck your left knee in towards the chest. Bring both hands into heart center as you bend your right knee. Tuck left knee behind right knee for shiva squat. You can hold here, or pulse in and out of the squat.
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasna)
From shiva squat, keep your left knee tucked behind right, but lower your hips all the way to the mat. Your left thigh will rest on the mat and your right knee will point up to the sky. Reach your right fingertips to the mat behind the right hip and reach your left hand to the sky. Twist to the right and hook your left elbow on the outside of the right knee. Breathe here.