This (hand to big toe pose) can be a difficult one. Especially if you have tight hamstrings and trouble with balance poses. Sometimes I like to use a strap and stand close to a wall or hold onto the wall (or kitchen countertop).
I do and encourage everyone to do a lot of yoga in the kitchen in the am with the countertop. I'm usually standing around looking like a goof waiting for my coffee, so I might as well get the spine warmed up and do a few stretches that are ever so gentle by helping my old tired bones out with the support of the countertop.
When I do this pose in the am I always use a strap, after I have stretched out my hamstrings w several forward folds, low lunges and sun salutations.
Yoga is not always done on a mat in a yoga studio.
This one is a bit deep for the first thing in the am yoga, so make sure you are good and warmed up before attempting this awesome and powerful pose.
Create space and a good connection with your weight bearing leg as you ready yourself to lift the other one. We usually move Right leg first, but I am thinking there are no rules in your PJ's in the kitchen.
Put the strap around the foot in a sturdy way. Take a strong grasp of said strap. Give yourself PLENTY of space with the strap so that you can straighten the leg. Engage the quadricep of the moving leg. Hold on to the countertop with the OPPOSITE hand from the moving leg w the strap (or place it on the hip).
Lift the leg slowly and w purpose. BREATHE slowly. Take it to your end ROM and breathe some more. The lift is straight out in front of you. Your toes are pointing to the sky. After about 5 breaths open that strapped leg to the side if you wish and hold for five more breaths. Gently bring it back to the floor or to the front again then to the floor and shake it out. During the return to the floor have a bend in teh knee, let's keep this safe.
Do a few sun salutes, stretch anyway your body needs to and then move on to the other side. Like a boss.
Thanks for reading. Hasta pronto mis amores.
Debbie Krejci E-RYT
Yoga Teacher Training Mexico, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka
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