This standing pose is one that I’ve been trying to spend more time practicing. It benefits so much of the body by strengthening and stretching the muscles. It also is a serious balance challenge even though you’re on two feet. One of my favorite benefits of this pose is that it deeply stretches the bottom of the back foot. I wear heels a lot so the arches of my feet need a little extra attention and I’ve found some relief with this pose.
Begin standing in Mountain Pose on your yoga mat.
Step your left foot back about 3-4 feet towards the back of your mat, keeping the heel lifted.
Ensure your front knee is directly over the ankle and your hips and torso are facing forward.
On your next inhale lift your torso to bring your spine straight and rest your hands on your hips or front thigh. Stay here or lift your hands up towards the ceiling with the palms facing towards each other.
You can add a slight back bend and lift your gaze up towards your hands if that feels okay for your neck and back.
Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Strengthens your legs, knees, ankles, and feet
Opens and stretches the groin and hips
Stretches and tones the legs
Increases stamina and improves lung capacity
Lengthens the spine and stretches the chest