Yoga Poses

Standing Leg Raise Pose C Utthita Hasta Padangushthasana C

Steps

Standing Leg Raise Pose C is the last in a sequence of challenge standing balancing asanas. Standing Leg Raise Pose C is included in both the Ashtanga Primary Series and 26 postures for Hot Yoga. This pose requires strength in the lower lumbar and psoas muscles to support the standing leg as the other is lifting.

Begin in Tadasana (tall mountain pose). Relax the shoulders away from the shoulders. Keep the chin level and eye gaze straight ahead. Spread the toes and press the soles of the feet down into the mat. Shift the weight onto the left foot and bend the right knee to the chest. Straighten the right knee and extend the leg. Hold for five breaths. To exit the pose relax the knee and bend the leg to the chest. Release the foot and lower to the ground. Bring the hands to the sides of the body. Repeat other side.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Imagine the standing leg is a tree trunk, the sole of the foot attached to the floor with roots and a golden thread is attached to the crown lifting the head and torso skywards.

Technical Comments

To begin, relax the entire body. Inhale to bend the knee, exhale to straighten the leg. Inhale to raise the arm – which acts as a counter weight and balance. To maintain the pose, breathe deeply, focus the gaze on a fixed point and press down with the heel of the standing leg. Flex the foot of the lifted leg to activate the glutes. Lift up through the torso, extended the crown upwards.

Benefit Comments

  • Stretches and strengthens psoas muscle
  • Stretches and strengthens rectus abdominals
  • Tones and strengthens hip flexors and abductors
  • Strengthens glutes,  leg muscles, knee and ankle joints
  • Stretches hamstrings
  • Improves concentration and muscular coordination
  • Balances nervous system

Watch Out For:

  • Slumping shoulders
  • Caving chest
  • Tight hips and hamstrings

Contraindications

  • Sciatica
  • Lower lumbar issues
  • Hip injuries
  • Knee or ankle issues

Modifications

  • Practice with knee bent until stability is achieved
  • Practice standing next to a wall or holding on to a chair
  • Use a belt to hold the foot up
  • Press foot of extended leg against wall

Variations

  • Extend the leg out to the side (Standing Leg Raise Pose A)
  • Clasp one or both hands around the foot heel (Standing Leg Raise Pose B)
  • Draw knee towards nose

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Standing forward bend
  • Warrior III
  • Downward facing dog or child 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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