Develop core strength and stretch your hamstrings this week

Katrina Owens
Lakeside Leader

This week’s pose is called ‘hand to toe’ and Lori Whitby of Slave Lake Smiling Dog Yoga says to start stand tall at the top of your mat.
“Engage your core muscles as you shift your weight over your right foot and leg (keeping the hips level),” she says. “Lift the left foot off the floor and bring the thigh up so that it is parallel with the floor. Reach the left hand forward to clasp the shin, just below the knee, or the big toe with the left middle and index fingers.”
Whitby adds, “If you reached for the toe, maintain a straight spine as you extend the foot away from you. The leg does not have to be straight but always maintain a tall back to prevent injury.”
Modifications and props:
You can use a strap around the ball of the foot to make it easier than grabbing the toes or start with the toes of the ‘lifting leg’ up on a yoga block to work on balance.
Beginner’s tip:
Practice with your back against a wall to help keep the back straight or stand beside a wall so you can reach out if you are losing balance.
Strengthens and stabilizes the legs, develops core strength, develops balance and is a strong stretch for the hamstrings.
Begin with modifications if you have leg weakness, balance issues or back pain.

Smiling Dog instructors demonstrating ‘hand to toe’ pose. To see more yoga poses, visit our website

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