Padahastasana: Hand Under Foot Pose
Padahastasana (PAHD-ah-hahs-TAHS-ah-nah) stretches the hamstrings and spine while compressing the hands and wrists. As a forward fold, padahastasana also relaxes the neck and shoulders to calm the mind and nervous system.
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.
- Bend your knees in order to place your hands under your feet, then straighten your legs.
- If legs are straight, avoid locking the knees.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once you have secured your hands with your feet, option to draw your elbows out to the sides and forward. Keep the back of your neck long.
- Stay for up to eight breaths before releasing your hands from beneath your feet and slowly return to standing.
- Downward-facing dog | Adho mukha svanasana
- Reclined hand to toe pose | Supta padangusthasana
- Standing forward bend | Uttanasana
- Head to knee pose | Janu sirsasana
- Chaturanga dandasana | High to mid plank
- Cobra pose | Bhujangasana
- Chair pose | Utkatasana
- Cow pose |Bitilasana
- Mountain pose | Tadasana
- Pada = Foot
- Hasta = Hand
- Asana = Pose
- Stretches hamstrings, back body, and wrists.
- Encourages relaxation of the neck and shoulders.
- Thought to balance tamasic energy.
- Thought to balance vata dosha.
Side Lunge Pose
Side lunge is an aesthetically beautiful pose and a wonderful release for the legs and low back. This pose is sometimes referred to as skandasana.
Philosophy + Origin
Side lunge pose can be a wonderful way to begin to understand the concept of a “moving prayer,” especially when you allow the body to flow freely from one side to the other. While malas (prayer beads) are used in many spiritual practices as a way to help keep the mind engaged, repetitive physical movement can have the same effect. Whether you practice a flowing version of side lunge pose, or use the posture as part of a salutation, give your body and mind enough time to find rhythm and ease so that you can enjoy the benefits of a physical embodiment of prayer and meditation.