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Modified Hand-to-Toe Pose

This is an easier version of the hand-to-toe yoga pose (hand holding the toes with the raised leg extended straight). It develops balance, strengthens muscles of the supporting leg, and stretches the buttocks and inner thighs of the raised leg.

Equipment

None

Exercise technique

  1. Stand with your legs together. Place your left hand on your hip.
  2. Raise your right knee and place your right hand underneath your thigh.
  3. Stand tall as you pull your knee as high as you can. Use your arm to keep it steady. Stay in this position for three to five breaths.
  4. Move your leg to the side and hold it there for three to five breaths.
  5. Slowly lower your leg to the floor. Repeat on the other side
Performance tips
  1. One breath equals an inhalation and an exhalation. Keep your breaths steady and consistent in length and depth.
  2. Gaze at a single spot in the distance to help you maintain your balance.
  3. Keep shoulders relaxed and pressed down away from your ears.
  4. An even easier modification is to hold a chair or table instead of putting your hand on your hip. As your sense of balance and muscles get stronger, progress to hand on hip.

Repetitions

If you do the exercise yoga-style, hold the position for three to five breaths. One breath means inhaling and exhaling. Make sure that your inhalation and exhalation are consistent in length and depth.

If you do the exercise Pilates-style, lift and lower your leg for five to 10 repetitions on each side. Exhale as you lift the leg, inhale as you lower it.

Go to Common Exercises...