The main elements of this posture—the standing leg and hip—can be overshadowed by the challenge of balance and the effort to straighten the kicking leg. First and foremost, this posture is about the uprightness of the standing leg and spine.
If you must keep the kicking leg bent in order to maintain an upright spine, that is perfectly acceptable. Push the big toe of the standing foot down and keep the standing foot as still as possible, though it may be wobbly when starting out.
Breathe deeply and relaxedly in this posture. You may notice that your breath shortens as you focus on staying upright or stretching the leg forward, but breathe deeply, expanding the chest.
This posture builds strength and stability in the legs, hips and back. It creates flexibility in the hamstrings and improves balance and focus. It twists the spine slightly, improving circulation to the vertebral discs.
Excerpt from the Ghosh Yoga Practice Manual - Beginning.
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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