Padangustha Padma Utkatasana – in this standing balance, the heart remains a focus as you sink down into the supporting leg and gently allow the hip of the bent leg to open with the breath. It helps strengthen the ankles and bring flexibility to the hips and develops balance and clarity of mind.
– Yoga Lily, Hatha Yoga classes in Milton Keynes
1. Stand in Mountain Pose. Lift the left heel up to rest at the top of the right thigh as you bend the supporting leg a little. Press the left knee toward the floor to open the right hip. Lengthen the tailbone towards the floor and elongate the spine.
2. On and inhalation, raise the arms above your head. On the exhalation bring the palms of the hands together into the prayer position and lower the hands to rest in front of the heart centre. Bend the right leg, lean forward more, and lift the heart centre as you sink down a little deeper into the squat. Keep the spine long with the tailbone tucked under. The upper body will be leaning forward a little but still vertical. Gaze at the fingertips of the hands, with your focus on softening and opening the heart. If you like take the elbows to your shin.
3. Bring the spine more to vertical and bend the supporting knee more as you lift your left heel and lower yourself to a one-Legged squat. Have the right heel between your sitting bones. Use your fingertips on the floor to help, if necessary, as you balance on the ball of your foot.
4. Take care as you come out of the pose. Inhale and raise yourself to standing. Release the Lotus leg with control and return to Mountain Pose. Re-centre yourself then repeat on the other side.
Gaze: Tip of nose
In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.