A standing Pose that can stretch your legs, challenge your concentration power, patience and boost your balance! We are talking about such a deep stretch pose today. This asana is known as Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, which stretches your hamstrings and strengthens your ankles and leg.
Utthita – Extended | Hasta – Hand | Pada – Foot | Angusta – Big Toe | Asana-Pose
This asana is pronounced as oo-TEE-tah HAHS-tuh pahd-ahng-goosh-TAHS-uh-nah, Sanskrit- उत्थित हस्त पादांगुष्ठासन. Practice warm-up exercises of the whole body before you attempt this pose. This pose involves deep stretch and if you have tight hamstrings then this pose may seem difficult. But, with regular practice and patience, you can master this pose.
Benefits of Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose
- This pose helps to improve your sense of balance, concentration and focus
- Opens up the hips, arms, and shoulders and stretches the hamstrings
- Strengthens legs and ankles and makes them strong
- Releases stress, anxiety, and calms your mind
If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose. Practitioners who have recent or current low back injury or ankle problem should avoid this pose. It is always advisable to attempt this pose under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher.
Steps to do a perfect Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose
- Begin in standing position with your feet together and arms at your sides.
- Inhale deeply and while you exhale, shift your weight to your left foot and lift your right knee up.
- Now, bring your right hand to the inside of your leg to touch the big toe.
- Fold your thumb and hold your big toe with your thumb and middle finger.
- Ensure that your spine is straight and the upper thigh of the standing leg pressing back.
- With the continuous inhalation extend your right leg out to the front and straighten as much as possible. Hold there for few breaths.
- Keep your shoulders back, chest wide open, both hips on the same line and spine straight.
- Hold there for few breaths, as long as you feel comfortable.
- To release, draw back your right knee back to your chest and slowly lower your foot to the ground.
- Relax and repeat the same procedure on the left-hand side.
Beginners might find it difficult to touch the big toe in initial days. If you are not able to touch the toes of your raised leg, then practice standing knee hug until you gain enough flexibility to practice the full pose. Moreover, you can also use a yoga strap around the ball of your foot to straighten your lifted leg. Hold the strap in that same side hand and straighten your leg to stay in the full pose.
As you gain flexibility and strength in this pose, variations can be practised. You can press the raised foot against the wall or can rest it along the top edge of a chair or table.
For a deeper stretch, when you feel balanced, inhale and bring your extended leg out to the side.
Ensure to keep your stomach empty before you practice this pose. Have your meals at least four to five hours before you practice this pose so that you can expand your body fully during the practice.
Ensure to keep your spine straight throughout the pose. Don’t force your body to master this pose. Instead, use a strap to bring necessary adjustments.
Always remember that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. You should always enjoy the journey while being patient and dedicated. This asana involves a mental and physical challenge. You just need a yoga mat and lots of willing power to start this asana!
Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!