yoga challenge
yoga challenge

Day 8 Beginner Yoga Challenge: Find Your Balance

Day 8 Beginner Yoga Challenge: Find Your Balance

Welcome to Day 8! Today’s practice is all about balance. Find your inner state of balance with the standing leg lift know in Sanskrit as Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. Take it step by step and break the pose down into easy to understand segments. Warm the body up for a complete practice build around cultivating a state of inner peace and balance. Yoga is a path to a state of equanimity.

If you haven’t seen the free audiobook Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide make sure you check it out. It’ll change how you look at Yoga.

Welcome to this One Month Beginner Yoga Challenge. New videos will be posted daily at 9 AM EST during the month of May. Pair these videos perfectly with #MayIBeginYoga2016 to support your daily practice and share on Instagram. Videos will publish on the day before the calendar date to give you time to practice and post on IG. Subscribe, comment, like and share to stay involved in the yoga challenge.

We designed this months challenge to be the perfect introduction to yoga, just like a 30 Day Yoga Course, but we want ALL levels to join and share their practice. This is the same challenge as last year so it’s perfect for those who participated to see how far you’ve come!


hey everyone it’s keno here thanks for tuning in to this 30 day beginner yoga challenge welcome to day eight today’s Pazuzu tithi hasta padangusthasana hands the big toe pose it’s a standing balancing pose so we’ll start off standing turn to the front of your mats we’ll begin with the Surya Namaskar a the Sun Salutation a after one deep inhale draw the belly in lift your kneecaps up into the center of the body we’ll take this nice and slow beginning with the first of the Sun Salutations inhale raising your hands above your head gazing at the thumbs exhale pivot from the hips suck in the belly in as you fold forward go down inhale lift chest up and forward and exhale nice and easy let’s step back to the plank pose and remember if you want to just hold plank that’s totally good but if possible exhale we’ll go down to chaturanga dandasana inhale coming forward to upward facing nice and easy exhale all the way back to downward facing taking a moment and just settle your feet to hips width apart drawing the kneecaps up rolling your shoulders open one two take a moment and just tune into your body today cultivate a calm and E quantum is mind three four and five let’s switch the gaze forward and inhale walk your feet forward between the hands lift the chest gently look up exhale fold forward go down inhale come on back up raise your hands and exhale samos ddee let’s do one more just to get blood and circulation moving through the body bringing an increased mental focus keep your belly drawn in and inhale for the first breath pressing your palms look up to the thumbs exhale draw the belly ends and the pubic bone backing up to fold forward inhale lift the chest up and exhale gently move back to the plank pose from plank exhale down to chaturanga dandasana inhale come forward to upward facing an exhale downward facing settling into downward facing dog for a few breaths one two three four and five switch your gaze forward and inhale stabilizing your shoulder girdle let’s come on forward and lift the chest up exhale fold forward and down inhale come all the way up pressing your palms together gazing up at the thumbs and return to Samos CDE keeping a little bit of blood in circulation going keeping the mind nice and steady we’re ready to move on to the balancing poses I’m going to turn to face you so that you can see exactly what’s happening in the balance of the hips balance is first and foremost the state of mind so set your mind’s totally free let go of all stress about whether or not you’re able to do the pose to its maximum capability instead just focus on patience acceptance and tolerance now we’ll be lifting up one leg draw the belly in transfer the weight onto your left leg we’re going to do the very easy option first and then look at progressing further from there taking the hands to your natural waist use your gaze which is also called Drishti or focal point in Sanskrit to look out ahead of you then drawing the belly in lift the right leg up as you press down into the left foot then holding on to your right knee pointing the right toes keep your gaze nice and steady one keep the hip dropping down sitting bones reaching towards each other two three four and holding on to the knee initiate this movement by externally rotating your right hip joint keeping that right hip pulled down point your right toes one stabilize through the left leg two three four and draw the belly in as you come on back to the center move your hands to your waist and then draw your right hip back as you send your right leg forward we’ll stay here for five breaths you don’t need to lift your leg really high so for example if you can only get your right foot a few inches off the ground keep it there draw the belly in one now wherever your leg gets to you can leave it there too three four use your abdominal muscles to pull the hip back and five drop it down come on all the way back find your center line now when you’re balancing what can often happen is if you feel like you’re losing your balance you can grip your toes but don’t do that you’re going to feel like you want to instead press down into the base of your big toe the base of the little toe and the heel creating the foundation of a tripod as it rests firmly into the ground okay so now keeping that in mind as we move over onto the left leg feel the base of your right big toe base of the little toe in the heel draw the belly in transfer your weight over there hands onto your waist draw the left hip joint in flexing the hip dropping the left femur into its socket and hold on to your knee but don’t hold on with your hand but really let your leg lift itself stabilize your standing leg we’ll be here for five breaths one two three keep the belly drawn in your breath nice steady and even four and five keep your gaze nice and steady and then slowly drop the hip externally avoid hiking the hip and instead keep it dropped nice and down by pulling the belly inside one draw the sitting bones towards each other two three four and back to the center draw the left hip back in space keep your hands to your waist and again lifting the leg one now remember it doesn’t matter how high the leg is it can be down but just draw the abdominal muscles in two three four and all the way back to standing now pause just check in with your body check in with any burning sensations during the muscles balance is a work in progress so if you found yourself teetering off your Center don’t stress or get mad at yourself just try it again after many years of practice you’ll find not only a balanced pose but a balanced calm and equanimous mind we’re going to try that one more time and offer you some progression tips of how to take the pose in to its full expression eventually so getting a nice stable base on the left foot feel the left big toe the base of the big toe base of a little toe in the heel so feel that tripod shape then we’re going to see if it’s possible well maintain the bounce to straighten the leg you can’t maintain the balance to stay holding your knee no problem drop your weight over on to the left side hands to your waist take your gaze then inhale lifting holding on to the knee check in if you can balance that’s a green light that says you’re ready to proceed glide your right hand down holding on to the right big toe check in with yourself if you can balance you’re ready to proceed drawing the right hip back straighten your leg keeping the foot flexed so that you can hold on nice and tight and let’s just hold it here for a couple of breaths keeping the belly drawn in pulling that hip back try to avoid using your biceps and instead really let your leg lift itself and we’ll stay again for a couple more breaths eventually you’ll fold forward for this good for today and then drawing the sitting bones towards each other slowly move your leg out to the side rolling that right hip joint externally keeping the right hip down we’ll stay for another five breaths one eventually you’re going to look over your left shoulder but don’t worry about that for today two three four and slowly let’s come on back to the center now let’s all give it a try just pull your hip back bring your sternum down to your knee and see if it’s possible to fold a little forward then again inhale come up and exhale hands to your waist and point one two you’re doing good three remember it doesn’t matter how high it goes four and five let’s set that leg down okay we’re going to try the other side now you have a much better balancing surface than I do when the ground is flat it’s much easier to balance because you can really feel that tripod to really focus on those points in fact lift your left leg up for a moment and just feel those three points really pressing into the ground base of the right big toe base of the right little toe and the heel and feel that tripod nature grab hold of your center of gravity which is be underneath your belly button and into the pelvis and Center your center of gravity over your right foot and that’s how we’ll begin okay inhale pull the left femur back into its socket that’s the thigh bone back into the hip flex the foot glide your left hand along the inner edge of the left thigh check your balance point if you’re stressed with your balance stay here otherwise draw the left hip back creating the space and the strength to lift the leg flexing the foot for now eventually you can point and fold forward but this good for now we’ll stay here for a couple breaths keep the belly inside shoulders down neck is relaxed mind is calm three four and five spiral your left hip externally as you open the leg straighten the standing leg one study the breath again avoid hiking the hip but instead keep it down two three keep your arms straight four and slowly feel the hip spiraling back to the center and now we give it a tribe gently pull the hip back creating the space to fold inhale gently back up maintain the balance line hands to your waist one steady two three four drawing the belly in keep your mind calm almost there and five slowly let’s set it down drawing the belly inside for a moment close your eyes maintaining a calm and equal points of balance just feel the inner body attune your minds and to the subtle vibrations within carrying the seat of balance with you into your life today gently move your hands together tuning into the inner body and inhale thank you so much for joining me on the inter tradition of yoga remember to tune in tomorrow to continue this 30 day journey with day 9 namaste..

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Comment (9)

  1. Hey Kino 🙂 I was wondering, is the leg that is being balanced on supposed to be straight? I noticed that my knee in that leg would start to bend when I would straighten out the one being lifted

  2. I have been following the videos pretty well so far, but this was a bit much for me. I don’t like to move on if I don’t “get it” but I just don’t know about this one. I don’t know how to practice this and actually be able to do it.

  3. me kinda lacking balance and flexibility to able to go hand to big toe. My back is always curling as my butt going backwards
    Any tips?

  4. day 8 done, kind of. I do not have the flexibility to grab my toe and extend my foot. Life Goal, relax hamstrings and touch nose to knee. Thank you Kino.

  5. Dear Kino, Thank you so much for an amazing job you are doing with bringing yoga to everyone. This is the first yoga challenge that I’m doing, I love it and having pictures taken helps a lot with understanding and linking inner with outer. This is quite difficult pose for beginners, is there any variations if I can not straighten my leg while holding toes? Thank you and big hug from Stockholm, we met when you were here last time two years ago 🙂 Yuliya

  6. hey Kino! love this. When I hold onto my toes and stretch out the leg, I have no problem balancing; however I can’t seem to stay standing straight up. My standing leg is straight but I have to pivot my back forward so I can hold my toe. Is that okay to keep doing??

  7. you sure this is for beginners? :’) just kidding haha I will need to work a looot on my flexibility to be able to do this


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