Strengthen your core, lengthen your spine and create hamstring flexibility!
Standing Big Toe (Sanskrit: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)
1. Stand in Mountain pose. Engage your core with left hand on hip. Root your left foot into the floor/foundation. Focus on something that’s not moving and begin to draw your right knee up toward your chest. Pause and get centered holding knee with right hand.
2. Bring your right arm to the inside of your right thigh. If you have a strap, this will go around the bottom of your foot. If you have on shoes, you can use your shoestring (as pictured above). If you have more hamstring flexibility, loop your peace fingers and thumb around your right big toe. Lengthen spine and open your chest sliding shoulder blades down your back. Engage your abdominals making sure not to lock out standing leg.
3. Take a deep breath in and on the exhalation, extend your right leg. Straighten your right leg as much as possible without locking it out while keeping both hips squared to the front and chest open with relaxed shoulders. You may keep your left hand on your hip or reach arm up. Gaze can stay forward or you can look up to add a balance challenge.
4. Stay in the pose for ~5 breaths. To move out of pose, just simply reverse the steps and come back to Mountain. Repeat on the other side/same amount of time. Notice the difference in each side. Usually your body has a favorite!
Note: You can perform this pose with or without shoes.
Benefits: Strengthens core, lengthens spine, creates hamstring flexibility
Namaste - The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.