Standing Extended Leg Variation (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana Variation)
Begin in mountain pose. Find stability in your left leg as you bend the right knee to lift the foot from the earth. Flex the right foot and spread the toes. Keep the same alignment as in mountain pose and extend the arms with the palms facing up at 45 degrees from your hips. Take a few breaths to balance. Take a deep full breath as you connect to your power center, the area below the navel and above your pubic bone (hara), and on the exhalation extend the right leg reaching your right foot out in front of you. As you extend the right leg, the elbows come in to the hips and the hands close into tight fists. Continue to balance and on the next inhalation, stretch the arms out, open the hands to spread the fingers and bend the right knee. Continue the movement and balance for several breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Keep the chest lifted and shoulders back. Feel a quality of buoyancy through the extended leg.
Increases heat and strength in the muscles, builds balance and stability, and tones the abdomen.