Utthita Hasta padangusthasana
Take special precautions while doing any asana. If you are learning yoga, then take the advice of a knowledgeable person. Do not put any kind of force in the event of pain or unable to do so. Keep in mind that you will be able to succeed only with constant practice.
Brief Introduction Of The Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
- Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is also referred to as Raised Hand to Big Toe Pose. In the Sanskrit language, Utthita means Extended, Hasta stands for hand, pada for foot, angustha for big toe and asana for pose. This yoga pose is designed to stretch the back portion of your legs and also challenges your balance. This amazing preparatory pose allows you to perform deeper hamstring stretches like Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose) and Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing Split). This standing pose requires you to engage your core including numerous muscles. It improves strength and flexibility in the legs while opening your hips. Your bodys lower part also enjoys improved blood circulation.
- The right time to practice this is early in the morning when your stomach is empty. You should clean your bowels before you start your practice. If you plan to do it in the evening, have the last meal 4-6 hours before starting this yoga.
How To Do The Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana?
- You need to start this yoga asana in Tadasana (Mountain) pose. Stand straight and place your feet together, with arms by the side. Relax your body.
- Now, take a deep breath. Try to become aware of your immediate surroundings and what you are doing. Allow your mind to get completely relaxed.
- Shift your bodyweight towards your left foot. Draw the right knee very slowly towards your chest. Take your right arm to your right thighs interior part. Loop middle and index fingers around the big toe of your right foot. Take your left hand and place it over your left hip.
- Then straighten up your spine. Engage abdominal muscles along with your left leg muscles strongly. Straighten left leg. However, avoid locking your knee.
- Exhale deeply and extend forward your right leg. Stretch it to make it straight.
- Square forward both your hips and stretch straight your spine. Avoid scrunching your shoulders or neck. Keep it relaxed and soft.
- Drop slightly your right hip. It should be in sync with the left hip. Now focus on your midline. This is the line that runs directly down your bodys center part.
- Hold this position for about 5 to 20 breaths. Then release your hold. Draw your knees back into your chest, while lowering your foot to the ground. Get back into Tadasana (Mountain) pose. You have just completed one set.
- Repeat on the other side for the same amount of time.
Useful tips for beginners to follow to perform Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana correctly
- Face directly forward your standing legs foot and knee.
- You need to relax your shoulders and straighten your spine than simply straighten up the lifted leg. It is possible to bend your lifted leg or if the need arises use a strap. However, make sure that your spine remains upright and tall throughout the pose.
- Any adjustments including a strap can be introduced to ensure not straining yourself while practicing this pose. But you need to be patient as it will take lots of practice and some time to gain physical flexibility.
- Instead of focusing on your lift, you should concentrate on your stretch. What height you can stretch your leg does not matter, if the alignment is not correct. Both your legs need to maintain an equal balance of effort and energy.
- Take things slowly and avoid being afraid to fall. Even if you do so, you can get into this asana once again without much difficulty
- Hold onto this pose for a long time. To achieve this objective, you can use a chair padded with a thick blanket. On the chairs top edge, you can support your raised leg foot. The chair should be placed about a couple of inches from the wall. Then your raised heel should be pressed firmly on the wall.
Some variations and modifications in Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
You can introduce a few simple changes to make this pose more effective and result oriented.
- You may have problems trying to reach your raised legs toes. If so, then you should perform Standing Knee Hug till you gain body flexibility.
- You should fold your torso to deepen your pose, by forwarding it to the lifted leg.
- You can rest the raised leg on the top part of a ballet barre, table or chair. It can also be pressed against the wall. This provides your raised left leg with adequate support while providing it with the desired flexibility and strength.
- You may find it difficult to straighten up your raised leg with a straight spine. If so, then instead of using your fingers, use a strap. The yoga strap is to be wrapped around your foots ball. The strap should be held in the same-side hand while straightening your leg.
Remember, you need to practice this asana and do the stretches as required but within your limits.
Preparatory poses to practice before doing Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
- Supta Virasana
- Supta Padangusthasana
Follow-up poses to practice after doing Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
Benefits Of The Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
- It helps stretch the adductors, hips and hamstrings.
- It strengthens your arm muscles and back.
- It improves focus and calms your mind.
- It enhances a sense of balance.
- It helps coordinate nervous and muscular balance.
- It tones your leg muscles and hips.
- It is a wonderful hip opening exercise, offering a wide range of motion including improved blood circulation.
- It improves strength and balance in your ankles as the whole body gets stabilized on just a single leg.
Precautions To Be Taken While Doing The Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
This yoga is better avoided if you suffer from the following health ailments:
- Ankle or lower back injury
- Sciatica pain
- As a beginner, you should practice it only with the guidance of an expert.
- Beginners are best advised not to try out the modifications without adequate practice.
- Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is indeed an invigorating and challenging balance pose.
- It boosts your balance and stretches your legs. This powerful pose offers you physical and mental challenges.
- With regular practice, you can improve your balance and flexibility.
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