Uttitha Hastha Padangustasana
Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose
Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose is an intermediate yoga posture that stretches the backs of your legs while challenging your balance. It is a great preparatory pose for deeper hamstring stretches, such as Standing Split (Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana) and Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana).The Sanskrit name for this pose, "Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana".The Big Toe Pose or the Padangusthasana is one of the easier poses in yoga. Most yoga practitioners will learn how to do this pose in the early practices and sessions of yoga. It is one of the few poses that will help you to stretch all your muscles from head to toe.
From Tadasana, bring your left knee toward your belly.Reach your left arm inside the thigh, cross it over the front ankle, and hold the outside of your left foot. If your hamstrings are tight, hold a strap looped around the left sole. Firm the front thigh muscles of the standing leg, and press the outer thigh inward. Inhale and extend the left leg forward. Straighten the knee as much as possible. If you're steady, swing the leg out to the side. Breathe steadily; breathing takes concentration, but it helps you balance.Hold for 30 seconds, then swing the leg back to center with an inhale, and lower the foot to the floor with an exhale. Repeat on the other side for the same length of time.
Hand to Toe Pose is a challenging and invigorating balance posture with many benefitsStretches hamstrings and hips. Stretches adductors.Strengthens back and arm muscles. Improves sense of balance.Calms the mind and improves focusUtthita Hasta Padangusthasana strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles.It deeply stretches the hamstrings (the back thigh muscles), while gently opening the hips, shoulders, and arms.This pose challenges and improves your sense of balance, which in turn helps develop greater concentration.
Like any yoga asana or pose and for any beginner it is important to know the limits of your own body.If while doing any asana at any point of time, you feel any awkward pain or pull, it makes sense to stop doing it.Most beginners should start yoga in the presence of a trained instructor.That way they not only learn the correct way of the pose but can immediately seek relief should there be any pain.If you have any lower back or neck injuries or pain, this pose is not advisable.If you have weak ankles, you should not do the advanced versions of the big toe pose.
Stand up with your feet together. Breathe in. Relax all your muscles. Breathe out. Make sure that your yoga area is free of obstructions. This asana is relatively difficult for those of us who are balanced-challenged
Parirutha Janu Shrishasana