Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana: Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose
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.
- 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.
- Begin standing at the top of your mat. Shift your weight into your right leg, pressing down through all four corners of the foot.
- Draw your left knee toward your chest. Loop your first and second finger of your right hand around your left big toe.
- Stand up tall. Lift your head up and drop your tailbone down.
- Place your left hand to your left hip, level your pelvis. Extend your left foot forward, pressing through your heel.
- Reach your right hand toward the back of your mat.
- Slowly start to move your gaze back towards your right hand.
- 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.
- Revolved half moon | Parivrtta ardha chandrasana
- Revolved triangle pose | Parivrtta trikonasana
- Reclined hand to big toe pose | Supta hasta padangusthasana
- Parivrtta = revolved
- Hasta = hand
- Angustha = big toe
- Asana = pose
- Strengthens and lengthens leg muscles.
- Stretches deep gluteal muscles and outer hips.
- Improves balance.
- Improves mental and emotional balance.
- Boosts confidence.
- Energizes and steadies the mind.
Phalakasana: Plank Pose
Phalakasana (fall-ack-AHS-anna), is an essential posture for a strong yoga practice. Holding plank pose will improve your endurance and muscle tone, help develop the strength needed for more complex poses, and generate heat and stimulating the navel chakra.
Philosophy + Origin
Hidden in the pose’s name is the Sanskrit word “phala,” which means to bear fruit or ripen. In yoga, the idea of tapas, often translated as “heat,” “passion,” or “discipline,” fuels the physical asana practice, encouraging students to seek out the challenge again and again in order to become stronger, to build an internal flame in the body that fuels every aspect of life. When you think of plank pose as an opportunity to “ripen” or “bear fruit,” you become aware of the transformative effect of this seemingly simple (although challenging) pose. Each time you enter the pose, use the breath to ripen the fruit of your labors. The ability to hold this pose with steadiness and grace is known to create major shifts in your practice and your life.