This pose is great for opening up the quadriceps and the hip flexors. This pose is not recommended for those with knee pain. If you feel any pain in this pose, please come out of it and skip the pose.
- Start in a tabletop position with knees together and your feet wider than hip-width. Take a block and place the block between the feet. You can use the block on either the widest or shortest side, depending on what feels comfortable for you.
- Start to walk hands back and lower hips onto the block. Lift chest so you are sitting on the block and place hands on your thighs. Close your eyes and take 8 deep breaths.
- To come out of it, place hands on the ground and walk back out to a tabletop position.
- Start in a tabletop position with knees together and your feet wider than hip-width. Walk your hands back and lower your hips to sit between your feet. Lift your chest up and place your hands on your thighs.
- If this feels good and you want to feel even more of a stretch, take your hands behind you and start to walk them back until you lower down to your forearms. You can stay here or if you want to go even further, you can gently lower down to your upper back. Once you are comfortably resting on your back, you can take your arms above your head, bend your arms, and take each hand to hold on to the opposite elbow. Hold here for 8 breaths.
- To come out of this, walk your hands next to you and come back to your forearms. From your forearms, press into your hands and then walk your hands out in front of you. Crawl up to a tabletop position to release.
This challenging balancing pose opens up the chest and hamstrings while strengthening the core.
- Make a small loop in strap. Stand with feet together and hold the strap in left hand.
- Find a gaze point in front of you to look at the entire time. Keep a microbend in right knee and shift the weight onto right foot. Pick left foot up off of the ground, bend left knee, and loop the strap around left foot. Stand up tall and squeeze thighs together. Backpack the strap up and over left shoulder.
- Keep core engaged to stay balanced. Begin to reach strap above your head, grabbing it with both hands. Take an inhale to stand tall, then exhale to kick left foot back into the strap as you keep chest lifted. Hold for 8 breaths.
- To release, lift chest up and bring left leg forward to gently release the strap from your foot. Put your left foot on the ground and shake out your legs. Switch sides.
Note: This variation requires a lot of back, shoulder, and abdominal flexibility, and also requires you to be able to “flip your grip” as you bring the foot up behind your head.
- Stand with feet together. Shift weight into right foot and lift left foot off the ground. Take your left arm down alongside your body and turn palm out so that thumb is pointing back.
- Take hand outside of left foot and rotate the hand out so that you can grab the outside of your toes. Find your gaze point and engage core the entire time.
- Inhale and pull left foot towards the back of your head while trying to keep chest lifted. Flip your grip by keeping ahold of the toes and rotating your shoulder so that the left elbow points up.
- Reach right arm up and back, bending the elbow and grabbing left wrist. Breathe deeply and keep core engaged. Hold for 8 breaths, then slowly release your foot and stand back up. Switch sides.