Extended Hand to Toe Pose
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
Hand to Toe Pose is a challenging and invigorating balance posture with many benefits:
- Stretches hamstrings and hips
- Stretches adductors
- Strengthens back and arm muscles
- Improves sense of balance
- Calms the mind and improves focus
- Ankle injuries
- Lower back injuries
- Tight hamstrings
- This pose can be done in stages. Until you are able to do the full expression of the pose, stop at step 2 or 3 and take a few breaths.
- For help with balance, try this pose with your free hand against a wall.
- For tight hamstrings, keep the knee on your extended leg bent, or wrap a strap around your foot and take hold of the strap.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (oo-TEET-uh-HAWS-tuh POD-ung-goos-THAWS-un-nuh)
Angustha: Big Toe
- Start in Mountain Pose with your hands on your hips. Draw your left knee in towards your belly and interlace your fingertips in front of your shin. Engage the bandhas and square the pelvis. Pause here for a breath, enjoying the stretch.
- Reach your left hand on the inside of your left knee and take hold of your big toe with your first and second fingers. Pause here finding balance, then extend your foot forward. Straighten your knee fully if you can.
- Keeping your leg straight, extend your foot towards the left. Keep your right hand on your right hip, or extend your hand out towards the right. Keep the shoulders level and relaxed away from the ears.
- For the full expression of the pose, send your gaze over your right shoulder, keeping your chin parallel to the ground.
- Stay here for 15-30 seconds, then return to Mountain Pose. Repeat on the other side.