This very popular pose is done consistently in vinyasa yoga as it is a great hip and hamstring opening pose, as well as great for transitions in standing sequences. This pose helps to relieve digestive issues, cramps and can help energize you when you are feeling down. This balancing pose is the perfect balance of expanding out while pulling back in and can be modified to include a backbend by holding the back foot or as a pose to stabilize the sacrum by using the wall against your back to fine tune the alignment in your hips and lower back.
Start either from warrior 2 or from tadasana
From warrior 2 right foot forward take your left hand to your hip as you lift the left leg up and bring the right hand to the floor or onto a block. The block or hand should be aligned under your shoulder and lined up with the outside of your right foot.
Once you come into it take a look back at your left foot making sure you can see your toes and aligning your left heel with your seat.
Alignment points to think about:
Make sure your standing leg thigh does not collapse in.
As you open the top hip the bottom thigh should stay in tadasana.
Try to lift your weight out of the bottom hand and practice floating your finger tips off the ground. This will help prevent dumping too much weight in your front hip- look up!
Often we forget to come tot he full extension of the balance. Challenge yourself to look up towards your top hand. Remember, falling out of balance is usually the place where we learn to find balance in on and off the mat:)