Get your heart pulsating with fast-paced yoga moves that improve your stamina and help build better lung capacity. Also known as Tuladandasana, the balancing stick pose is great for strengthening the midsection (core) and cardiovascular and respiratory muscles, while simultaneously toning your legs and back, and improving your overall ability to concentrate and find your sense of balance.
Here’s a step-by-step of the exercise:
Step 1: Stand with your feet together, heels and toes touching.
Step 2: Bring your arms up over your head, and keep your palms together. Interlock your fingers by releasing the index fingers, but keeping your thumbs crossed.
Step 3: Stretch your arms upwards and elongate your spine. Make sure the arms and ears constantly stay in contact.
Step 4: Slightly push your hips forward and lift your chest.
Step 5: Lift your right leg and take a large step forward. Fix your gaze at a point four steps ahead of you on the floor.
Step 6: Now, tip your body forward so that you are balancing on your right leg, and simultaneously lift your left leg back and up, so that it is parallel to the floor. Make sure you stretch and contract every muscle, with your hips in line. Hold for five breaths.
Step 7: Slowly exit by bringing the right foot back to the starting position and repeat on the left side.
Unlike restorative forms of yoga where you hold poses for a longer period of time, this particular asana requires you to execute the moves in quick successions for best results. Once you’ve learned the step-by-step, pick up the pace and gradually increase your number of reps; start with 5.