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Helpful Yogi: Figure Four

May 24, 2011

As with any standing postures that require you to balance on one leg, Figure Four requires a lot of focus! This is a deep standing hip opening pose and the great thing about this posture is that you can take it as deep or as gently as you need to.

How to achieve Figure Four:

  • Begin in downward facing dog.
  • On an exhale, look forward and step to the top of your mat.
  • Lift up to Chair pose or Utkatasana on an inhale, and settle in on your exhale.
  • Draw your hands to hearts center, and root down through your right foot.
  • With a strong core, lift your left foot away from the mat, and place your left ankle on top of your right thigh.
  • Pull your core up and in, and begin to draw your weight back into your right heel.
  • If your hips are feeling open, make sure they’re level, and then begin to shift your torso forward.
  • Hover your arms over your left shin, or maybe even rest your arms on your shin.
  • To take it even further, keep drawing your chest forward and reach over your shin to grasp your right calf or ankle for a very deep hip stretch. Find one spot to focus your gaze and breathe.
  • To move out of the posture, shift your torso back up so your shoulders are over your hips.
  • Hold here for a few breaths, and then gently release your left foot down to the floor, and retreat back to tadasana, or mountain pose.

Voila! You’ve done figure four!

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