One-legged pose is part of a series of
standing poses in the Bikram yoga (Hot yoga) classes. One variation
of the hand position has the fingers interlaced, with the index
fingers extended as if pointing ahead. In another variation of the
hand position, the palms face down and the thumbs touch. The posture
should be held for a minimum of 30 seconds, extending up to several
One-legged pose improves flexibility in the hamstrings, hips and shoulders, increases strength in the core muscles, legs, back, shoulders and arms, opens the chest and lungs, stimulates the abdominal organs, reduces anxiety by calming the nervous system, and improves focus and memory.
One of simplest ways to move into one-legged pose is from downward-facing dog. Lift one leg until
it is parallel to the ground, then lift the torso until it is also
parallel to the ground, and stretch the arms alongside the ears with
the preferred hand position.
Anyone with high blood pressure or
heart problems should avoid this pose, as should those with shoulder,
back, leg or hip injuries.
Beginners can use the back of a chair
to support the outstretched arms and maintain balance. Those who have
mastered the pose, and are able to hold it for 30 seconds, may increase
the difficulty by performing it with eyes closed.