Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana: Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose

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Parivrtta hasta padangusthasana (par-ee-VRIT-tah HAS-ta pod-ang-goosh-TAHS-anna) is a balancing posture that asks for flexibility. Use props and modifications to make this challenging posture accessible from right where you are.

Philosophy + Origin

While the name of this pose is straightforward, many yoga teachers call it dancing Shiva, which opens up a whole new perspective for understanding parivrtta hasta padangusthasana. Traditional depictions of Nataraj, or dancing Shiva, show the arms and legs moving fluidly across the body, which is how the shape of this posture earned it its nickname. Shiva’s dance is often referred to as a cosmic dance of bliss, showing the universal cycles of creation and destruction, birth and death. Practicing dancing Shiva is a recognition of these cycles, and improves the ability to find balance and peace in the midst of eternal change.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Place a strap around your lifted foot to create more space.
  • Reach your back hand to a wall for extra support.
  • Keep your gaze forward or to the side to help with balance.
  • Keep your back hand on your hip for added stability.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin standing at the top of your mat. Shift your weight into your right leg, pressing down through all four corners of the foot.
  2. Draw your left knee toward your chest. Loop your first and second finger of your right hand around your left big toe.
  3. Stand up tall. Lift your head up and drop your tailbone down.
  4. Place your left hand to your left hip, level your pelvis. Extend your left foot forward, pressing through your heel.
  5. Reach your right hand toward the back of your mat.
  6. Slowly start to move your gaze back towards your right hand.
  7. Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths before untwisting and slowly lowering the lifted leg down to the floor. Pause in standing for a few breaths before repeating on the other side.

PREPARATORY POSES:

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

COUNTER POSES:

SANSKRIT:

  • Parivrtta = revolved
  • Hasta = hand
  • Angustha = big toe
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Strengthens and lengthens leg muscles.
  • Stretches deep gluteal muscles and outer hips.
  • Improves balance.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Improves mental and emotional balance.
  • Boosts confidence.
  • Energizes and steadies the mind.


Utthita Trikonasana: Triangle Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

A classic standing posture in many yoga lineages utthita trikonasana (oo-TEE-tah trik-cone-AHS-uh-nah), strengthens and stretches the entire body. Approaching the pose with knowledge of intelligent modifications will help you enjoy the posture and all it has to offer.

Philosophy + Origin

In hatha yoga, where the intent is to unite opposing forces – sun with moon, masculine with feminine, light with dark – this pose offers an opportunity to embody this philosophy when you focus on finding stability while you expand. When you look at the physical shape of the posture, you also see the triangles being formed. And, when you look a little closer, you find several triangles hidden in the shape of the body – the two legs with the floor, floating under the side body, and between the front foot and the front hand.

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