Balancing Tadasana (Mountain Pose) on One Leg
How to do it
Begin standing with your feet hip distance apart, arms along the body. Shift your balance slightly toward your left foot.
Exhale: Bend your right knee and lift it in front of you, lower your arms.
Inhale: Put your right foot down and raise your arms up.
Exhale: Bend your left knee and lift it in front of you, lower your arms.
Inhale: Put your left foot down and raise your arms up.
Repeat the movement several times and then stay in the pose.
Breathing in Balancing Tadasana
Inhale: Lengthen upwards through the top of your head. Keep the back of your neck long and your shoulders away from your ears.
Exhale: Progressively contract your abdomen to create stability and lift your raised thigh a bit more.
NOTE: Be sure to keep your upper body aligned over your pelvis. Keep your supporting leg straight and notice how your supporting ankle negotiates your balance moment to moment. Be sure that your raised knee stays directly in front of your hip.
High knee marching
Tadasana: High knee marching works great to train your balance in motion and helps to warm up your hips, particularly your hip flexors. Touching the fingertips of both hands underneath the thigh helps to ensure that you raise the leg high enough. It is important not to bend forward when you do this movement; try to keep your upper body aligned over your pelvis.
Tadasana: Hip circles is a great way to warm up your hip and take it through a full range of motion while training your balance. Try to make the circles as wide as you can and notice which part of the movement feels the most challenging. It works well to follow this move with Tree pose for a bit more hip work.
Tadasana: Front-to-back pendulum emphasizes the relationship between the hip flexors and extensors. It’s a great move to do after sitting a lot. Be sure not to hike up the hip of the moving leg.
Balancing Tadasana: Criss-cross pendulum works great for balancing out the relationships between most of the the hip muscles: flexors, extensors, adductors and abductors, while working on balance. Be sure to keep your upper body steady as you move your leg.
Balancing Tadasana: Diagonal walking is particularly useful for strengthening your abductors and maintaining the length of your stride. One of the reasons older folks might be prone to falling is because the length of their stride diminishes. This move is used all the time in hip rehabilitation programs.
Double diagonal walking
Tadasana: Double diagonal walking amplifies the benefits of simple Diagnonal walking and challenges your balance a bit more. It will loosen up your hip flexors, too. You can move forward or backward while walking diagonally and you will feel different impact on your hips.
Tadasana: Hip flex-extend works on the relationship between the hip flexors and glutes on top of training your balance. It’s a great way to loosen up the hips and potentially help with lower back stiffness.
Tadasana: Hip half-circles works well for balancing out the relationship between most of the the hip muscles: flexors, extensors, adductors and abductors. The most important part is to keep the motion rounded when you move your leg from back to side – this is where some serious abductor work takes place.
Tadasana: Hip raises is excellent for working your quadratus lumborum and abductors. We sometimes forget that our abductors are tasked with keeping the pelvis steady when we walk – this movement helps to strengthen them specifically for that action.
Tadasana: In-forward-out is a wonderful way to challenge your hip flexors in combination with your adductors and abductors. It’s a great move to do after you’ve been sitting a lot, or to prepare for other hip work.
Leg crossed behind
Tadasana: Leg crossed behind might feel a bit awkward, but it’s a great way to alternately contract and stretch your abductors and hip flexors. It might be tricky for students with sensitive sacroiliac joints, so they would need to approach this movement with caution.
Tadasana: “Tight-rope walker” is wonderful for training your dynamic balance and strengthening all the structures that support the hips. It is particularly effective for strengthening your abductors and balancing out their relationships with all other hip muscles. Try to keep your leg movement as circular as possible when you bring your leg around.
Tadasana: Knee open-close targets your abductor-adductor relationship, while also engaging your hip flexors and IT band. This pose works well to prepare for Tree pose, as well.