Extended Hand to Toe Pose Yoga: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

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Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana: Extended Hand to Toe Pose

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.

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 back and arm muscles.

Energetic Benefits:

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

Mudra: Anjali Mudra

This mudra is also known as the “prayer mudra.”

Bring both hands together by pressing the palms together firmly and evenly with the fingers and the thumb pointing upwards.

Mantra:

Om Mantra

This most widely-known and used mantra is among the oldest and most widely practiced aspects of the yoga technique. This mantra acknowledges the constant vibrations we are a part of and connected to with the verbal Om. Chanting at different pitches, beginning with low intonations at three to five repetitions and slowly progressing through higher tones can allow you to focus on the different aspects of our existence, focusing on everything from the physical body to the spiritual dimension.

Preparatory Poses:

Follow-Up Poses:

Contraindications:

  • Ankle injuries.
  • Lower back injuries.
  • Hamstring injuries.

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.

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.

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