Regular yoga practice can keep our body strong, supple and healthy. Hitting the yoga mat in the morning can help us to start the day as we mean to go on. In this article, we focus on yoga for the legs. Stand tall and steady with 10 yoga sequences for the legs.
First in the sequence is Mountain Pose. To practice the asana, stand straight with your feet in line with your shoulders. Distribute your weight evenly through each leg, making sure not to shift your center of gravity forward or back. Activate your thighs and bring your tailbone forward. Throughout the posture, keep your legs as straight as possible without locking your knees. As you inhale, lengthen through your neck and spine. As you exhale, bring your shoulders down and back and reach your hands towards the ground. On an inhale, reach your arms up towards the ceiling. Finally, bring your palms together while keeping your hands in the air. You are in Mountain Pose. Hold the pose for around 30 seconds, remembering to breathe deeply.
Tree pose helps us to stand tall and steady by strengthening the muscles around the ankles. To practice the asana, stand straight with your feet together. Bring your big toes together with a half-inch gap between your heels. Next, bring your hands together in front of your heart and activate your abdominal muscles. Gently move your weight onto your right foot, rooting it down by pressing through your big toe and the ball of your heel. When you’re ready, lift your left foot off the ground and bend your knee. Once you’ve gathered your balance, touch your left foot on the inside of your right thigh. You are in Tree Pose. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
The next pose in the sequence is Half Moon. To practice the asana, begin standing tall. Next, move your feet apart and turn your right foot 90 degrees clockwise. Hinging at the waist, bring your hands to the floor and rest them between your feet. Next, lift your left foot off the mat and hold it in mid-air. Finally, raise your left hand towards the sky. You are in Half Moon Pose. Hold the position for 30 seconds before lowering your leg and arm back down to the mat.
Chair Pose is the next asana on the list. To practice, stand straight with your feet together. Take a deep breath in and lift your arms above your head with your fingers pointing towards the sky. Bring your shoulder blades back as you lengthen your neck. As you breathe out, bend your knees and lower your bottom down and back as if you are sitting in a chair. With every breath in, lengthen your spine a little more. With every breath out, deepen the stretch by lowering your bottom further towards the ground. You are in Chair Pose. Hold the pose for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
To practice Crescent Lunge, start by landing straight. Bend at the waist and lower your upper body towards the mat until your hands are touching the floor. Move your left foot forward and rest it in-between your hands. Gather your balance and extend your back leg out to balance on the ball of your foot. Your front leg should remain bent with your knees perpendicular to your heel. Lift through your hips and reach your arms up as you lengthen your neck and spine. Feel your core engage and make sure that your left knee remains at a 90-degree angle throughout. You are in Crescent Lunge. Stay in the posture for 30 seconds before moving your hands down and resting them on either side of your foot.
Downward Facing Dog is another great asana for the legs. To practice the pose, stand straight on your mat with your feet in line with your shoulders. Bend forward at the waist and lower your torso towards the mat until your hands make contact. Your body should now form a triangle. If you’re new to yoga, tight hamstrings may prevent you from touching the mat. In this case, bend your knees slightly throughout the pose. Next, move your head in-between your upper arms and spread your fingers to help you balance. You are in Downward Facing Dog. Hold the pose for one minute whilst concentrating on your breathing.
To practice Low Lunge, begin standing tall. Move your right leg forward and lift your hips up and back until they are aligned over your left knee. Lift both arms above your hand and press your hips down until you feel the muscles activate. You should now feel a stretch in your outer hip. You are in Low Lunge. Hold the posture for 30 seconds before swapping sides.
The Warrior sequence is ideal for standing tall and steady. To practice Warrior I, start by standing straight on your mat. Take a big step forward with your right leg while keeping your left leg in place. Bending your right leg, stretch your left leg out behind you. Finally, draw your shoulders back and raise your arms above your head. You are in Warrior I. Hold the pose for around 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
To practice Warrior II, stand straight on your mat with your arms by your sides. As you breathe out, move your feet apart and turn your right foot out 90 degrees. Lift your arms out to the sides until they are in line with your shoulders with your palms facing down. On an exhale, bend your right knee while keeping it in line with your ankle. Lower your hips until your right thigh is parallel to the mat. You are in Warrior II. Hold the posture for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Warrior III is the final posture in the sequence. To practice, stand straight with your hands on your hips. Extend your left leg out behind you. Next, square your hips to the mat until your torso and lifted leg are parallel to the floor. You are in Warrior III. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
So, there you have it – how to stand tall and steady: 10 yoga sequences for the legs. If you want to strengthen your legs, practice the asanas above regularly. Some people enjoy heading to the studio straight after work; if you want to do this, remember to pack your yoga bag before work so that you’ve got everything you need.