Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana: Extended Hand to Toe Pose

handtotoepose nicoluce

Utthita hasta padangusthasana (oo-TEET-uh HAWS-tuh POD-ung-goos-THAWS-un-nuh), also known as extended hand-to-toe pose, is a challenging and invigorating posture that stretches and strengthens while calming the mind and improving focus.

STEP-BY-STEP

  1. Start standing with your hands on your hips. Draw your left knee in towards your belly and interlace your fingertips in front of your shin. Level your hips so they are equidistant from the ground. Pause here for a breath.
  2. Reach your left hand on the inside of your left knee and take hold of your big toe with your first and second fingers. Stay here, or lengthen your spine and extend your foot forward any amount.
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths and release back to standing. Repeat on the other side.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS

  • For help with balance, try this pose with your free hand against a wall.
  • Keep the knee on your extended leg bent, or wrap a strap around your foot and take hold of the strap.
  • Option to extend your foot out to the side, and opposite arm out to the other side. Keep your shoulders level and relaxed away from the ears.

SANSKRIT

  • Utthita = extended
  • Hasta = hand
  • Pada = foot
  • Angustha = big toe
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

  • Stretches hamstrings and hips.
  • Stretches the inner leg line (adductors).
  • Strengthens the back and arm muscles.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS

  • Improves sense of balance.
  • Calms the mind and improves focus.

PREPARATORY POSES

SEQUENTIAL POSES

COUNTER POSES

 

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Vasisthasana: Side Plank Pose

sideplankvariation ashleighsergeant

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS   |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Vasisthasana (vah-sish-TAHS-anna) comes in many variations. At its core, side plank is a challenging arm balance that requires core and shoulder strength.

Philosophy + Origin

The word “vasistha” appears in the yogic tradition as the name of several sages. This pose honors all the vasistha sages, including an array of rishis and prajapatis (lords of creation). In one story of Vasistha, he was the proud owner of a famous wish-granting cow named Nandini that helped Vashistha acquire vast wealth. While the Sanskrit translation of this pose is “Sage Vasistha’s pose,” the common translation is “side plank.”

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