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Sets the foundation for all other postures; tests your focus and concentration
1. Stand with your feet together. Line up your heels behind your second and third toes. (Most people will have to turn out their heels a little.) Face your kneecaps over your toes.
2. The weight should be even on each foot, from front to back and side to side. To do this, ground down, lift your kneecaps, and engage your quadriceps muscles. Then isometrically press the backs of your knees forward—but don’t actually bend them—engaging your quads and hamstring muscles equally. Hug your upper thighs together, then isometrically press them away from one another to activate both your adductors (inner thighs) and abductors (outer thighs).
3. With your arms alongside your body, turn your biceps and palms to face forward. Align your neck so it feels long and even on all sides.
4. Take a big inhale and lift your rib cage evenly away from your pelvis; exhale and hug in the sides of your waist to create lumbar (low-back) stability.
5. Stay here for a good 10 breaths—or make this your whole practice!
Avoid These Common Mistakes
Don’t flatten your lumbar spinal curve by tucking your tailbone. This will push your hips forward and prevent you from forming a long line from your feet through the crown of your head.
Don’t roll to the outside edges of your feet or distribute your weight unevenly. This will interfere with the structural stability of every joint above your feet.
About Our Pro
Teacher and model Alexandria Crow is a former competitive gymnast whose yoga experience has been about transformation. She guides her students step by step through creative sequences, challenging them to stay conscious of their body’s strengths and limitations in the present moment. Crow teaches slow-moving, vinyasa-based therapeutic classes catered to the needs of individuals. You can find her at YogaWorks in Santa Monica, California; giving workshops around the world; and at alexandriacrow.com.