Half Monkey pose stretches and strengthens the hamstrings, hips, lower back, and calves. It also tones the leg muscles and increases blood circulation in the hamstrings and hips. FamilyGuide
- Begin in downward-facing dog (by making an upside-down “V” with your body, with arms and legs straight). Step your right foot forward, in between your hands, to come into a low lunge.
- Keep hands at either side of the foot, lower the left knee to the ground, and place the top of the left foot on the ground (you may keep your toes tucked to help stabilize you).
- Create space in the chest by pulling the shoulders back and down, away from the ears.
- Pull the belly in towards the spine to activate the core.
- Square the hips by shifting the left hip forward while pulling the right hip back.
- Shift the hips back, and begin to straighten the right leg until only the heel is pressing into the ground. Keep a micro bend in the knee to protect your kneecap. Flex the right toes.
- With a straight spine and open chest, begin to fold over the right leg until you feel a small stretch in your right hamstring.
- Pause and breathe deeply for 10 breaths.
- As you inhale, keep your hands on the ground, bend into your front leg, and step back to downward facing dog.
- Repeat opposite side.