Impatient yogis everywhere, meet The Everything Pose.
Yes, it's nice to do a whole yoga sequence leading up to a pose, but sometimes you just want to skip to the pose, a pose that cuts to the chase and does everything, you know what I mean?
The hows and wherefores:
1. Start in a lunge: right foot forward, hands framing your right foot.
2. From the lunge, shift your body forward so you wind up on your right foot, left leg up in the air, fingertips on the floor, straight below your shoulders.
3. Bend your left knee and lift the knee out to the side. Think "urinating dog" here. With my apologies.
4. With your left leg lifted and rotated, raise your right hand and grab your left ankle. That's right. You're now balancing diagonally.
5. Lift your head, lift your chest, breathe slowly, and stay for 5-10 breaths.
Repeat on the other side.
BENEFITS: Well, you pretty much get a fantastic quad stretch on the raised leg (as well as hip-opening), a great hamstring stretch on the standing leg, a balance position, a chest-opener, and a bit of a back-bend. You see why this is the Everything Pose, right? Plus, it makes you stand straighter at the end (or happy that you survived it).
AVOID IF: Your knees or shoulders don't like it.
OTHER THOUGHTS: Can't reach the raised foot? Try using a belt to bridge the distance to the foot. Can't balance, or can't straighten the standing knee? Try using a block underneath the hand that's supposed to be on the floor. Can't seem to get into it at all? Well, that's why we have the other yoga poses, my dear impatient yogis, the poses you wanted to skip to get to the one-pose-does-all. Before blaming me, from now on, we'll do those first, and then we'll get to the Everything Pose...