Editor's note: When yoga rebel Tara Stiles found some time between running her busy Manhattan studio, Strala, and teaching her style of yoga around the globe, she stopped by mindbodygreen and talked about her yoga philosophy. We asked her to show us her favorite yoga move, and Dancer Pose immediately came to mind. Before her former life as a model, Stiles was also an avid dancer, so naturally, this pose was in her nature.
The key to this pose is to allow a soft bend in the standing leg, and then to extend as you lean forward. Then, just relax into it! You should feel nice and easy in the sole of your standing foot. Continue to keep the standing leg soft, not locked. Catch your foot and find softness there, not strain. Press the back foot into your hand and be sure to maintain that softness in the knees. Your back arm should naturally start to slide up. Let the gaze be natural and easy.
But most importantly, enjoy the dance!
Follow these seven easy steps and you'll really start to rock this pose, I promise. Here's what goes through my mind in Dancer's Pose:
1. Am I pressing down into my standing foot?
2. Is my opposite arm lifting with ease?
3. Is my gaze neutral and easy?
4. Is my back hand sliding up my back foot or shin?
5. Are my knees soft and relaxed?
6. Is my standing leg soft, not locked?
7. Am I extending as I lean forward?