Start in Tadasana and step the feet 3-4 feet apart; you will be in a wide legged standing position. Point the toes straight forward and stand up straight, elongating the spine and tuck the tailbone under – to stop you from tipping forward. Have the chin parallel to the ground and look straight ahead. Inhale and draw the shoulders up towards the ears then, as you exhale, quickly drop the shoulders down and feel the shoulder blades move down your back – this should expand and open the chest.
Raise your arms out to the sides, shoulder height, parallel to the floor. Your palms should be facing down and you should feel lots of lovely expansive space in your chest, as the shoulder blades continue to draw down the back.
Turn your right foot in slightly toward your left foot and then turn your left foot out at a 90-degree angle. Make sure that you heels are in line with each other.
Firm your thighs and bend the left knee, ensuring the left knee is directly over the left ankle. The back of the knee should line up with the heel. If this is too strong and your leg shakes, move the feet closer together and start again – you can build up to having the feet wider apart.
Keep the torso upright and draw the tailbone in and under (toward the pubis) so as you have a lovely straight spine and are not sticking the buttocks out.
When you are ready, exhale to rotate the neck to look over the front hand (this will be your left hand, parallel to the bent knee). Keeps your chest pointing directly forward, only turn the head to face over the front arm – this will take some practice as the chest will naturally want to move in the same direction as the head. Check in with your back arm – has it started to rotate in toward the midline of the body? The bark arm will be the main offender in rotating toward that front arm, where the head is now looking. Keep the arm back and the shoulder drawn down. If you struggle to turn the head, keep looking straight forward – don’t put unnecessary pressure on the neck.
Hold the pose. As you breathe, concentrate on drawing your energy up, away from your legs and in to your abdomen. Keep the navel drawn in toward the spine and keep the legs strong and active, but don’t sink all of your weight in to the legs. Imagining that your energy is travelling up in to the abdomen will bring a sense of lightness to the legs, enabling you to hold the pose for longer.
When you are ready to move out of the pose, straighten the front knee, keep the navel drawn in toward the spine and slowly rotate the head back to centre and turn the front foot to face the front of the room. Repeat on the right-hand side.
Katie-Marie Fuller is a registered yoga teacher specialising in Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. Her approach to yoga is fuelled with intelligence and creativity, underpinned by ancient philosophy and spirituality. A master of the arts, Katie’s career history and education shine through in her creative, philosophically orientated classes. Currently studying for her diploma in anatomy and physiology, Katie is changing her career path with a view to practice yoga therapy full time. Residing in Staffordshire, you will hear Katie’s soft, eloquent tones reciting philosophical quotes in yoga studios around the county. Katie prides herself on her extensive education in art and Philosophy but emphasises Aristotle’s aphorism: “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”. Katie’s classes incorporate elements of Kundalini, Hatha and Yin yoga, often bound together in a vinyasa type flow.