Star Yoga Posture

Star Yoga Posture

The Star yoga posture is a joyful and playful pose that can help you get out of your head and connect your mind with your heart. This pose offers a number of physical and mental benefits, including stretching and strengthening your ankles, knees, hips, back and arms; increasing circulation; improving respiration; invigorating your entire body; and improving stability and endurance, according to yoga teacher Rachel Schaeffer in her book, "Yoga for Your Spiritual Muscles." Star pose can provide you with a beneficial, energizing full-body stretch whenever you need a bit of extra pep.

Tips

1. Stand in Mountain pose. Mountain pose is the starting posture for many yoga poses. It helps connect your feet with the earth, improves your posture and prepares your body for more challenging poses. Stand up tall with your big toes touching and your heels a few inches apart. Distribute your weight evenly on your feet. Relax your shoulders and align your head and neck with your spine. Tuck your tailbone under by lifting your pubic bone toward your navel. Breathe deeply in this posture for a few minutes.

2. Step your feet wide, about three-and-a-half to four feet apart. Point your toes out slightly and plant your feet firmly into the ground. If you are using a yoga mat, your toes should point toward the front corners of your mat.

3. Distribute your weight evenly on your feet. Don't lean to one side or put more weight on one foot in this posture. Star pose is an equalizing pose that should promote feelings of balance and expansiveness. Keep your legs straight -- don't bend your knees.

4. Extend your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder height. Broaden your chest. Keep your arms parallel with the floor, with your palms facing down.

5. Contract your quadriceps muscles -- the muscles located on the front of your thighs -- and pull them slightly up. Tuck your tailbone to flatten your lower back -- don't round your back. Look straight in front of you and keep your chin lifted.

6. Breathe deeply in this pose. Imagine energy being drawn from the center of your body outward to all five points of the "star": your head, your arms and your feet. Stay here for up to one minute, then release and step back into Mountain pose.