Padahastasana: Hand Under Foot Pose

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An incredible release for the back body, padahastasana (pod-A-hahs-TAHS-anna), or hand under foot pose, lengthens and stretches the hamstrings and spine. As a forward fold, padahastasana also relaxes the neck and shoulders to calm the mind and nervous system. The position of the hands under the feet can feel great on tired wrists.

Philosophy + Origin

By bringing opposites together — upper and lower body, hands and feet, padahastasana is said to unite higher states of awareness and lower states of consciousness, bringing balance to body and mind. Likewise, practicing padahastasana unites the external nature and internal spirit, bringing calmness and well-being needed to live in complete harmony and health. In today’s modern world, finding balance both mentally and physically can be difficult, which is why regular practice of this posture is so beneficial.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Bend the knees in order to place the hands under the feet.
  • If legs are straight, do not lock the knees.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin standing at the top of your mat. Exhale to fold forward from the hips. Keeping length in the front of your torso, bring your hands to the floor. Bend your knees as much as needed.
  2. Turn your hands palm face up and slide them under the soles of your feet so that the toes are at the wrist joint. Shift the weight of your feet front and back so that you find the appropriate amount for your hands and wrists.
  3. Once you have secured your hands with your feet, option to draw your elbows out to the sides and up. Keep the back of your neck long.
  4. Stay for up to eight breaths before releasing the hands from beneath the feet and returning to standing.

PREPARATORY POSES:

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

COUNTER POSES:

  • Chair pose | Utkatasana
  • Cow pose |Bitilasana
  • Mountain pose | Tadasana

SANSKRIT:

  • Pada = Foot
  • Hasta = Hand
  • Asana = Pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Stretches hamstrings, back body, and wrists.
  • Relaxes the neck and shoulders.
  • Stimulates glands in the body, including the pineal and adrenal glands.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Stimulates chakras along the spine.
  • Reduces tamas and can reset feelings of laziness or dullness.
  • Balances vata dosha.
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