Pointer pose or bird-dog pose, parsa balasana, is a great way to workout your core, challenge your balance, and strengthen your back all in one move! 

Benefits: 

Strengthens the abdominals and hip flexors. Improves posture, balance, and helps to alleviate lower back pain. 

How to:

  1. Start in a table-top position with your knees and hands firmly rooted into the mat. Start with making sure your knees lineup with your ankles and your shoulders stacked above your wrists. Start with a nice neutral spine. Keep your gaze down to your mat to maintain the length in your back. 
  2. It is up to you whether you tuck or untuck your toes behind you. Tucked toes are slightly easier to maintain balance, so this is a good option for beginners. 
  3. Extend your right leg back behind you, keeping your right foot flexed and your toes pointing down towards the mat. Keep your hips as square as you can with your mat and resist the urge to bring that right leg up any higher than your hips. 
  4. Engage your core to keep your lower back flat.
  5. You can stop here at what some people call “half-pointer pose”. If and when you are ready to move on, extend your left arm out in front of you. Make sure your palm is facing down, your elbow is straight, and your arm is in line with your shoulder. 
  6. Stay engaged through your core as you hold this full pointer pose. Avoid the tendency to arch your back in this pose and instead, keep your back as flat as you can.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

Modify it:

As mentioned above, you can keep your hand down and stay in half-pointer pose for as long as you feel you need to. If you find that this pose is a bit much on your knees, place a towel or blanket under your knees.

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