Yoga Pose of the Week: Standing Leg Raise, Side

in Health by

Standing leg raise, side  

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 

By Megan Howe

Photo by Mark Vanderpool

Standing leg raise is a balancing pose that stretches, strengthens, and tones your legs, ankles, and core. This pose requires a steady gaze and can help you improve your sense of balance.

Standing leg raise
Standing leg raise

Stand at the top of your yoga mat, bring your big toes to touch, and keep your heels slightly apart.  Press all four corners of your feet* (*ball mount under your big toe and pinky toe, plus the two in your heel) down in to your mat. Bring your hands to your hips, lift your right knee to your chest, and catch your right knee with your right hand.

Create action in your legs; flex both of your feet and hug your outer shins in toward the center of your body. Pull the pit of your belly in and up, connecting your core to your spine. Draw your shoulder blades back and press them in to your body. From this place of being centered, set your focus and create a steady gaze.

Keep this integration and slowly open your right knee towards the right side of the room, then bravely look to your left. To increase challenge in this pose, you may grab your big toe and fully extend your legs and arms.

For more empowering poses, visit us at Dancing Dogs Yoga, located in Beaufort, Bluffton, and Hilton Head Island.