The foundation pose for all standing poses is tadasana.
Stand, barefoot, with your feet about hip-width apart and your arms by your side. Lift your toes, spread them wide and place them back on the floor.
Feel grounded with all ten toe pads on the floor. Learning to use your toes and feet evenly and strongly can help enormously with standing and balancing poses. Visualise your legs as strong. Roll your shoulders back and down.
Imagine a line of energy running from your heels to the crown of your head.
Stand in tadasana. Feel grounded and evenly balanced. Gently transfer your weight into your left foot and as you inhale, draw your right knee up towards your chest. Hold knee in right hand, raise your left arm to shoulder height for balance. Gaze straight ahead at something that isn’t moving. Feel the opening across your chest. Exhale and bring your right knee out towards the right and lower left arm. Place sole of right foot either on your thigh, or your calf or just place big toe on the floor. Bring your palms together in front of your chest. Once you feel confident and stable, raise your arms over your head and bring your palms together. Feel the weight in the left leg, the left foot working, the body lengthening. Releasefrom the pose on an exhalation. Repeat but transfer weight into your right leg and draw your left knee up.
Bring your feet together and stand in tadasana. On an exhale step your feet wide apart (about a leg length) and bring your hands onto your hips. Relax your shoulders. Turn your right foot out to 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly. Keep your weight even over both feet and spread your toes. As you inhale, raise your arms wide to shoulder height and lunge into your right knee. Don’t let your knee protrude further than your ankle. Keep it directly over the ankle. Exhale and turn your head to gaze along your right arm. If you have very stiff shoulders keep your hands on your hips. Keep your torso in the middle of your legs. Don’t be tempted to lean towards the right. Breathe easily. Inhale and straighten the right leg. Exhale and bring the arms down and step the feet together. Repeat, but bend the left knee and turn head over left arm.
Here are three ways you can use a wall for support in this pose:
- Place your heel against it and step forward so you are at right angles to the wall and then press into the wall with your heel. This helps keep the back leg strong.
- Once you are in the pose, place your fingertips on the wall for balance.
- Stand with your back to the wall.,/li>
Press your buttocks and heels against it and this will hold you steady.
Go to more Gentle Exercise.
Illustrations are by Phillip McGrath