Friday, March 9, 2012

Yoga Pose of the Day: One-Legged Chaturanga

Friday! Friday morning=hot yoga and it was an amazing class today with Kathy Vanderselt! We did lots of shoulder openers and glute work, but if I had to pick one exercise that really got the class going, it would be all the One-Legged Chaturangas that we did.

This exercise is also known as One-Legged Four-Limbed Staff Pose and Eka Pada Chaturanga Dandasana.

1-Begin in Mountain Pose, standing straight, creating length in your spine, pushing through your heels into the floor and reaching through your head to the ceiling. Chest up and shoulders back!

2-On an exhale, swan dive down into Standing Forward Bend, only hinging at the spine, keeping the rest of your body in the same place. Take a deep inhalation.

3-With your palms on the floor, jump or walk your feet back into a plank as you exhale. Make sure your shoulders, elbows, and wrists are in one line, and your back is flat, glutes engaged. You are still reaching through your head and pushing through your heels, always creating length.

4. Lift your right leg only a few inches off the floor and lower yourself into a Chaturanga pushup, keeping your elbows next to your torso, and hovering barely over the floor for at least two deep breaths. Feel your triceps working, and squeeze your glutes to keep your pelvis even and your leg lifted.

5. Bring yourself into the Upward Dog pose, keeping your right leg lifted, and then on your next exhalation, send yourself back into Downward Dog.

6. From Downward Dog, bend your knees, and on your next exhalation, jump or walk your feet back up to your hands into Standing Forward Bend, and then swoop your arms back up into Mountain Pose.

7. Repeat this sequence, this time lifting your left leg as you do your Chaturanga pushup and Upward Dog.

Feel your upper body, abs, and glutes work like crazy!!!

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