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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Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana: One-Legged Bow Pose

eka pada urdhva dhanurasana taylorharkness

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Eka pada urdhva dhanurasana (EH-kah PAH-dah OORD-vah don-your-AHS-anna) is the one-legged variation of upward-facing bow pose.

Philosophy + Origin

The power of the bow pose is present in this one-legged variation. In a world that glorifies multi-tasking, use eka pada urdhva dhanurasana as a reminder to go one step, or one foot, at a time. Think about the coordination required in your body and mind to make this pose happen. Can you use the same coordination to steadily go from one task to the next with grace and poise?

Read Article

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