Standing Figure Four Pose

Definition - What does Standing Figure Four Pose mean?

A standing figure four pose is a standing yoga pose that improves balance while opening the hips.

A more challenging variation on chair pose, one leg is lifted and the ankle is placed across the opposite thigh with the knee opening to the side and the shin coming parallel to the ground. The hands are brought into prayer position into the chest, and the torso can be lowered forwards so that the forearms rest on the shin with a deeper knee bend in the standing leg.

Standing figure four pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, eka pada utkatasana.

Yogapedia explains Standing Figure Four Pose

The standing figure four pose has many benefits for the body, including that it:

  • Improves the ability to balance on one leg
  • Stretches the outer hips and gluteal muscles
  • Strengthens the legs
  • Builds core strength

Standing figure four pose is a good alternative hip opener pose than pigeon pose because the depth of the stretch can be adjusted by taking the hips and torso lower or higher. Standing figure four pose can also be deepened and made more challenging by taking both hands down to clasp the standing leg below the knee. This brings a deeper stretch into the outer hips. In another variation, the arms reach forwards to challenge the core strength and stability more.

This posture is known as a preparatory pose for flying pigeon pose as it opens the hips and gets the body into the entry position for the arm balance pose.

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