Standing Big Toe: May Yoga Pose of the Month

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Strengthen your core, lengthen your spine and create hamstring flexibility!

Standing Big Toe (Sanskrit: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)

May 2016 Pose of the Month - Celeste

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.

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About Author

Celeste Cooper-Peel, MA, MCHES, E-RYT, CWHC, CYT

Wellness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty years. As a chemist, she conducted research which brought her into the mindset of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education from East Carolina University, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate about all things wellness. She enjoys collaborating with team members, teaching, presenting and nurturing healthy lifestyle changes. She believes that every day is a learning opportunity and creates opportunities that reflect active learning, being curious and forward thinking. Celeste is a published author, the wife of a fun-loving husband, mother of a college freshman, "professional" front porch meditator and loves to play in the dirt . She is a nationally Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Certified Wellness and Health Coach (CWHC), Certified Yin-Yang Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT). She has also received advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition and additional trainings with The Institute for Functional Medicine. Follow @ccooperpeel on Twitter and Instagram.

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