This sequence is an arm balance flow to strengthen the arms and open the hips while building focus and confidence.
1. Start in Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Spread all 10 fingers wide on the mat, rest your head between your biceps and lengthen the spine. Press through your heels and begin to open up the back of the legs.
2: Inhale and extend your left leg up, toes to the ceiling, moving into 3-Legged Dog.
3: On an exhale, step the left foot forward and stack the knee over the ankle. Lower the right knee to the mat, coming into Low Lunge. With an inhale, sweep your arms overhead to frame the ears. Lengthen through the arms and gaze upward. Heel-toe your left foot out towards the edge of the mat and dial the toes out. On an exhale, begin to settle the hips towards the mat and keep your left knee hugging towards the midline. Tuck the back toes and press through the heel as if in High Lunge.
4: Bend your left elbow, drop the left shoulder and the whole left side of the torso as low as possible on your inner left thigh. Place the back of your left thigh as high up as possible on the upper arm. Keeping your weight centered between your hands, start to work your left foot forward along the floor so more and more of the weight of the leg comes onto the arm. When you can’t walk the foot any farther forward without lifting it off the floor, straighten the knee as much as you can, powerfully reaching the foot forward and out to the left side. Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard pose)
5: Bending both elbows, shift your weight far 5 forward between your hands until you can lift your back leg. Lift strongly until that leg is parallel to the floor; then, keeping the knee extended, press straight back through the ball of your foot. (You may keep the back knee bent until you find your centre of gravity). Lift your head and look forward, keeping your gaze soft. Breathe evenly. Hold the pose for 20 seconds to one minute. Eka Pada Koundinyasana (One- Legged Sage Koundinya’s pose).
6. Return the back foot to the floor. Ground 6 through your palms and bring the left leg back
to meet the right, moving into Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff pose). Squeeze your elbows in to frame your torso and lower slowly, keeping the spine long, and release your hips to the mat.
7. On an inhale, press through your palms and lengthen the arms and torso lifting into 7 Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog). Keep your arms strong, chest lifted, move the shoulders away from the ears and look up. Noticing strong thighs, lifted kneecaps and keeping the tops of your feet active.
8. Exhale into Downward Facing Dog (Adho 8 Mukha Svanasana) and take 5 breaths.
9. On your next exhale, press into the palms, ground your knees and sink your hips back onto the heels to come into Balasana (Child’s pose). 9 Relax your forehead to the mat and keep your arms actively lifting from the floor.