Improves balance, memory and concentration. Strengthens legs, ankles, buttocks, back and abdominal muscles. Realigns the body. Open the hips. Improves focus and mental clarity and relaxes the mind.
Step 1: Take both shoes off and stand evenly into both feet. Feel all four corners of each foot.
Step 2: Gaze at a spot on the wall ahead of you. (This is a called a "drishti" in yoga class.) Shift the weight into your right foot. Lift your left leg off the ground and place your left foot at your right ankle, knee or inner thigh. If your left foot is above your right knee, open your left knee out to the side by pressing your left foot into your right thigh.
Step 3: As you inhale, place your heads into prayer position and bring them to your heart. If you find it difficult to balance this way, open your arms out to the sides.
Step 4: Pull in your abdominal muscles, tuck your tailbone under, lift up through your chest and relax your shoulders. Keep breathing.
Step 5: To go a step further, as you inhale, open your arms out to the sides and place palms together above your head. To go even further, shift your focal point up to the ceiling by gazing upwards with your eyes. Move slowly.
Step 6: To come out, bring your hands back to your chest, gaze comes forward. Inhale, lift through your chest one last time, and as you exhale, release your hands, lower your arms and release your left leg to the floor. Shake out your legs and repeat on the other side.
Don't take balancing poses so seriously. Have fun with this one!