Yoga Poses

Half Lotus Toe Balance Padangustha Padma Utkatasana

Steps

Half Lotus toe Balance is challenging standing pose. Half Lotus Toe Balance also known as Half Lotus Tree pose is popular with Hatha Yoga Teachers as it works to strengthens both mind and body. Half Lotus toe Balance improves concentration while toning the core, back,  hips, legs and ankles.

Begin in Tall Mountain pose. Transfer the weight to right foot, bend the left leg and lift the left heel on top of the right thigh, turning the sole skyward. Lengthen the tailbone towards the floor, pointing the left knee down the release the hip. Inhale and raise the arms over the head. Exhale to bring the hands to prayer in front of the heart. Keep the spine vertical with the tail tucked under, lift onto the ball of right foot and lower down into a squat. Eye gaze is down the nose towards the fingertips. Hold for 5 or more breaths. To exit the pose, inhale and rise slowly to standing. Release the lotus leg and return to Tall Mountain. Repeat on the other side.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Focus on the heart centre is the key to this unconventional balance. Breathe deep into your centre and soften your heart as you move into standing lotus. Imagine lifting your heart upward and you lower into the squat.

Technical Comments

When lowering to squat, let the standing leg knee move forward, bringing thighs parallel to the floor. The standing foot heel should be between the sit bones. Keep the spine upright with the chin parallel to the floor. In the final position, the head crown, heart, and standing hell are aligned.

Benefit Comments

  • Strengthens core, back and leg muscles
  • Strengthens toes and ankles
  • Tones hips and belly
  • Improves flexibility of hips
  • Opens chest and heart
  • Improves balance and concentration

Watch Out For:

  • Uneven hips  - keep hips square, thighs parallel to floor
  • Loss of balance – bring fingertips to floor
  • Tight Achilles-place standing heel on folded blanket

Contraindications

  • Sciatica
  • Slipped disc
  • Ankle and knee injuries

Modifications

  • Remain in standing lotus
  • Practice against a wall for support
  • Bring hands to floor or blocks

Variations

  • Extend arms to sides or overhead
  • Flying horse pose – bring lotus leg knee to floor

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Mountain pose
  • Standing forward bend
  • Standing splits
  • Standing half-bow pose

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga

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