This posture has two main elements: the standing leg/hip and a straight spine. This is the most demanding strength posture we have for the hips, with the weight of the upper body bent all the way forward and the arms stretched overhead, making the upper body even heavier. The standing hip needs to be very even and very strong in Balancing Stick. Keep the standing leg straight and balanced—don’t hyperextend the knee, roll to the outside of the foot, or let the kicking hip come up.
Lengthen the spine as much as possible. Avoid collapsing the chest. Stretch the arms strongly forward.
If you are unable to maintain a straight spine with outstretched arms, bring the hands to the hips. This reduces the load on the back and hips. You can also try this modification if you have a weak or injured lower back.
This pose requires a lot of exertion, so the breath will be a little shorter than usual. Keep the breath smooth and relaxed.
This posture builds strength in the legs, hips, back and shoulders. It stretches the hamstrings and chest. It builds intense focus, balance and determination.
Focus on not allowing the hip of the lifted leg to tilt upwards. Keep both hips square to the floor.
Excerpt from the Ghosh Yoga Practice Manual - Intermediate.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
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