HOW TO PERFORM
• Stand tall in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your feet inner hip distance apart, hug your shins to the midline, push your inner thighs back and lift up through your rib cage.
• Breathe and make a connection to the earth, spread your toes and equally press down with the four corners of your feet.
• Focus on a point in front of you that is not moving.
• Pour your weight into your left leg and lift your right heel.
• Root your left leg steadily into the earth, inhale and bring the sole of your right foot to your left inner thigh. Bring your hands into Anjali Mudra (prayer position in front of your heart).
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• Hug your right foot and your left thigh together.
• Push your thighbones back, especially your left one and keeping this, lengthen your tailbone down and extend from the core of your pelvis through your left leg into the earth.
• Breathe into your steadiness in this balance.
• Inhale your arms up to the sky.
• When you want to come out, gently exhale your arms down and release your foot at the same time.
• Repeat on the other side, standing on your right leg.
• Cultivates poise and focus.
• Calms the mind.
• Tones the leg muscles.
• Improves balance and posture.
• Gently opens hips.
• For a simpler version you can place your foot either at your ankle with your toes on the earth or onto your shin. Never place your foot on your knee.
• Your arms and hands can be by your side, in Anjali Mudra in front of your heart, or together up over your head.
• You can also play with moving your arms from side to side, imagining that you are a tree in the wind.
• Do this pose at the end of your asana, pranayama or meditation practice for a minimum of two-minutes but five-minutes for every 30-minutes of practice is optimal.
• Lie down on your back, with your legs extended.
• Cover yourself with a blanket.
• Check that there is a curve in your lumbar spine, so that there would be space to place something under your lower back.
• Allow your toes to roll out to either side.
• Lift your arms up so your hands and fingertips are in the sky and then gently release them about 15-inches from your sides with your hand on the floor, palms facing upwards. Take one deep clearing breath.
• Soften and release completely into the earth. Feel your body pushing into the earth, and the earth pushing upwards supporting you.
• Soften your jaw and with your eyes closed, let them sink to the back of your head.
• This pose is about total surrender, which is what makes it one of the most difficult poses of all. The goal is to stay awake yet completely relaxed.
• Bring some gentle movement to your fingers and toes.
• Stretch your arms up over your head and breathe long through your whole body.
• Roll onto your right side before using your hands to push yourself up to a seat to close your practice with chanting Om and bowing down to the teacher inside yourself.
• Reduces stress, mild depression and anxiety.
• Calms and centers the mind.
• Allows us to ‘rest and digest’ as our parasympathetic nervous system powers up our natural healing and regeneration processes.
• Allows us to find internal balance and integrate our practice.
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