Stand with feet together. Toes and heels touch. Shift body weight to left leg. Interlace fingers and thumbs (forming a cup with hands). Contract abs, bend at waist, pick up right foot with palms cupping the sole around balls of feet (If you struggle to reach foot, bring right knee up and grab underneath knee cap using same grip). Look forward. Keep left leg locked contracting quads, hams, glutes and abs to keep balance. If left leg is locked without wobbling, extend right leg, with heel pushed away and toes turned back towards face. Hold. Return to standing. Switch legs (at this prep stage for full Standing Head To Knee pose, the aim is to lock your extended leg and feel a deep stretch in calf and hamstring).
A) Strap looped around sole of foot instead of hooking big toe with fingers and thumb. B) Raised leg on back of chair. C) Use a wall as a prop (to stay in the pose for longer). D) Press raised heel firmly into wall. E) Do the pose lying down in Reclined Big Toe pose. F) Fold torso forward toward lifted leg. G) Come into full extended hand to big toe pose.
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Focus on your breath when exiting the pose. Inhale, bring your leg back to the centre. Exhale, lower foot back to floor.
Benefits Of Balance Poses
Balance is the ability to control your body’s position, whether stationary (i.e. a complex yoga pose) or while moving (e.g. playing golf).
Balance is a key component of Yoga, along with strength and flexibility poses.
Top 5 benefits to of balance poses...
1) Body Awareness – Body awareness is the sense of how your limbs are oriented in space, also known as proprioception. Balance training improves body awareness, which decreases the likelihood of injury.
2) Coordination – Balance poses requires your entire body to work in harmony, otherwise you will fall or stumble. Improved coordination during balance poses will be transferred into coordination in everyday life.
3) Joint Stability – Balance poses promote stable knees, ankles, hips, and shoulders. This can prevent a multitude of injuries including sprained ankles and knee problems.
4) Reaction Time – Balance poses can improve your reaction time. If you happen to slip or stumble when performing balance poses, your body needs to re-balance immediately or you will fall. This in turn will improve your reaction time in everyday life.
5) Long Term Health – Adding balance poses into your Yoga session helps to maintain or improve your balance, which is needed to prevent falls and fractures. As we age, our balance can deteriorate. Yoga balances will help delay that deterioration.