Did you know that yoga teachers sometimes draw out their yoga sequences, a set of poses within the practice, using stick figures? Well, welcome to Yogi Stix, a page where you can spy with your little eye a yoga ‘stix’ figure and a description of the pose to help you practice at home!
From standing tall, bring your palms together in front of your heart, with thumbs resting on your sternum (the bone between the two sides of your rib cage) and step one leg straight back behind you. Press the bony surface beneath the toes on the mat (or floor, or grass, or wherever you’re standing because yoga can be done anytime, anywhere!) and lift your back heel towards the ceiling. Press down through the back leg and stand the front knee over the top of the front ankle, like above.
Let all ten toes point to the front of your practice space, and let your legs be a little separated — in some yoga poses one foot goes behind the other, closing the legs a little, but in this pose we’re working ankle stability so keep your balance by letting your feet have two separate spaces on your mat.
With your hands still at your heart lean a little forward and turn your body to face over your bent leg. If it feels comfortable to do so, connect your opposite elbow to the outside of your bent leg’s thigh (upper part of your leg,) you might even look over your shoulder to twist your neck a little, too. Relax your shoulders a little bit and stretch across the front of your chest so that you can breathe a little bigger into the top half of your lungs. Hold the pose for 5-8 breaths (inhales and exhales) and then unwind your twist and come back to standing tall with feet together and arms by your side. Rest for 2-3 breaths and then try the other side.
As always, remember that the pose can be done in a bunch of different ways, maybe it feels better to you to keep your back knee down on the ground, or maybe instead of lifting your back heel to the sky you set your heel easily on the mat with your back leg straight. These are just two of the many ways to change this pose to make it better, more accessible, for your own body so play, give all of the variations a try to find out what makes you happy in this pose! And grown-up yogis, please remember that this pose looks different in everyone’s bodies so let the kiddo’s bodies do what feels good to them – no cheating, let them find it themselves. ;0)