The purpose of this more advanced variation of the tree pose is to keep the trunk steady with the help of your arm. It has the same benefits as the tree pose but allows you to open your hips more fully, which in turn opens the Jupiter chakra (the energy center located on your spine behind your pelvis). It also allows a fuller chest expansion.
Don't be frustrated if you have trouble getting into the standing half bound lotus pose. If your hips are not open enough yet and your knee isn't pointing toward the floor, it'll be difficult to connect your hand with your foot and could also overstrain your knee. Give yourself time and keep practicing the regular tree pose. Eventually your body will accommodate you.
1. The standing half bound lotus is similar to the tree pose, except your bent right ankle rests on the front of your straight left thigh.
2. Bring your right arm behind your back and connect it to your right foot in front.
3. Lower your knee slightly toward the floor and raise your left arm over your head. Take three breaths.
4. Return to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.
5. Getting Started: This is a challenging pose and not for beginners. Poses that open the chest and increase shoulder and spinal flexibility will help get you to a point where you can reach your arm far enough behind you to grab your foot. Practice the eagle pose (following), side angle stretch (earlier in this chapter), bow pose and upward facing dog (Chapter 14), and both standing and lying down spinal twists (Chapter 15) to help your body prepare for the half bound lotus.
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