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Stork Pose

Standing balancing posture that improves your balance and stability.
 

You can perform Stork Pose to improve your balance and stability. This pose also helps to open your hips and strengthen your legs, arms and shoulders. If you are feeling distracted or unfocused, you can perform Stork Pose to center and focus your mind.
 
You may find it easier to balance on one side of your body than the other side. You may also find that on some days it is easier to balance in this pose than on other days. Balancing poses reflect the balancing of your body, mind and spirit, so difficulty balancing in this pose on a particular day may be a reflection of an imbalance elsewhere in your life.
 
Try coming in and out of the pose a few times to develop your balance. Once you find your balance, you can remain steady in the pose by sinking your weight down through your supporting foot, gazing at a fixed point in front of you and breathing evenly.
 
As you hold Stork Pose, resist the temptation to lean forward. Instead, focus on keeping your spine straight and lengthened.
 
Steps:
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Shift your weight onto your left leg and foot.
Bend your right leg and lift your right heel off the floor.
Bring your right knee up until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Your leg should form a 90-degree angle.
(Make sure your lower right leg is perpendicular to the floor and your toes are pointing toward the floor.)
Press the heel of your left foot into the floor.
Inhale as you raise your arms to shoulder height in front of you.
(Your arms should be straight, but your elbows should not be locked.)
Turn your palms to face each other and stretch out through your fingertips.
Relax your shoulders down away from your ears.
Point the crown of your head toward the ceiling and gaze at a fixed point in front of you.
Hold the pose for 15 seconds to 1 minute and then return to Mountain Pose.
Repeat steps 2 to 10 for your other side.
 
What can I do if I have difficulty maintaining my balance?
You can stand beside a wall and place one hand on the wall for support while performing the pose. Once you feel stable, you can remove your hand from the wall.
 
How can I make Stork Pose more challenging?
Stretch your arms above your head so your upper arms are beside your ears and your palms are facing each other. Make sure you keep your shoulders relaxed and down.
 
What should I do if the hip of my raised leg moves when I bend my knee?
Instead of raising your arms in front of you, you should rest your hands on your hips so that you can feel any movement in your hips. If you feel your hip rise, reduce the bend in your knee slightly. Resting your hands on your hips in this pose can also help improve your balance.
 
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