Padahastasana: Hand Under Foot Pose

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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.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Bend your knees in order to place your hands under your feet, then straighten your legs.
  • If legs are straight, avoid locking 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 forward. Keep the back of your neck long.
  4. Stay for up to eight breaths before releasing your hands from beneath your feet and slowly return 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.
  • Encourages relaxation of the neck and shoulders.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Thought to balance tamasic energy.
  • Thought to balance vata dosha.


Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana: Standing Splits Pose

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ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS|     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Urdhva prasarita ekapadasana (OORD-vah pra-sa-REE-tah EH-kah pahd-AS-ah-nah) is a great pose for practicing balance and increasing flexibility in the hamstrings. Standing splits also helps stabilize the hips and pelvis (with correct, closed-hip alignment), making it a great pose for building a solid foundation for your asana practice.

Philosophy + Origin

A variation of Hanumanasana (front splits pose), standing splits requires many of the same physical attributes and awareness. This version of the splits is physically challenging and asks to respect where you are today. Think of your lifted leg as an opportunity to strive and your lower leg as a reminder to be patient with your capacity at this moment.

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