Padangusthasana or Big Toe Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Padangusthasana, Big Toe Pose
Sanskrit
पादाङ्गुष्ठासन / Pādāṅguṣṭhāsana
Pronunciation
pad-an-goosh-TAH-suh-nuh
Meaning
padangusthasana: “big toe”
āsana: “posture”

Introduction

Padangusthasana (pad-an-goosh-TAH-suh-nuh) regulates the reproductive system, cures flat feet, and strengthens the toes and ankles. This pose develops balance and concentration. It calms the mind and works on the Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, and Heart Chakras.

Yoga may be an effective way for athletes to improve their balance and flexibility. The results of this study suggest as much, with yogis demonstrating improved measures in these two specific components after only 10 weeks!

Muscle Focus

Big Toe Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Hamstrings
  • Back muscles
  • Quadriceps Muscles
  • Calf Muscles
  • Pelvic Muscles
  • Abdominal muscles
  • Arms muscles

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • Improves digestion by stimulation of digestive organs.
  • Stretches the hamstrings which tend to get tight.
  • Stretches back muscles.

Benefits of Padangusthasana or Big Toe Pose

1. It Relaxes Headaches and Insomnia

Padangusthasana or Big Toe Pose is known to provide relief from stress, anxiety, and tension. It relaxes the mind and activates the reproductive and digestive systems to work more efficiently. As the thigh muscles are stretched, it makes them strong and healthy.

2. Helps in Menopause and Menstruation

In women, it helps provide relief in menopause and ensures the proper running of the menstrual cycle.

3. It Stimulates the Functioning of the Liver and Kidney

The pose improves digestion and thus helps in the proper functioning of the body. Padangusthasana also strengthens thigh muscles.

4. Stretches Hamstrings and Calves

The pose is known to stretch hamstrings and calves, which have a higher tendency of getting tight. This stretch is beneficial for athletes and people who sit for long hours during the day.

5. Stretches Back Muscles

The back muscles are also stretched in the pose, which is beneficial for people who have a desk job.

6. Can Prevent Knee Pain

It can prevent knee pain by strengthening the lower body and hamstrings. The pose also helps in aligning the knees, which is beneficial for people with knock-knee or bow legs problems.

7. Improves Digestion

The pose improves digestion and thus helps in the proper functioning of the body. Padangusthasana also strengthens thigh muscles.

8. Prevent Flat Feet

The pose can be beneficial in preventing flat feet problems. It strengthens the muscles that support the arch of the foot.

Contraindications

Those with ankle, knee, hip, and lower back issues are advised against this pose.

Variations

  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose)
  • Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Preparatory Pose

  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose)
  • Ardha Uttanasana (Standing Halfway Fold Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • Beginners can start doing this pose with a slight bend in their knees. This will make it easier for them to hold the ankle and keep the back straight. As you progress, try to do it with straight legs by folding forward from hip joints.
  • Do not bring your head down forcefully on your knees as that may lead to a neck injury or muscle spasm in neck muscles (trapezius). Relax the shoulder blades towards each other and slightly downwards towards the floor while doing so. The objective of bringing the head down is just to increase stretch alongside the body and not actually touch the forehead on the knees.

How to do Big Toe Pose

  • We will start with Tadasana (Mountain Pose) keeping the legs straight and at a distance of 2-3 inches from each other, keeping your feet parallel to each other. Contract your thigh muscles (quads) and lift your kneecaps forward.
  • Now bend forward and touch the forehead to knees with straight knees.
  • Take deep breaths in this position for 15 seconds (or as long as you can).
  • Hold the big toe of one leg firmly with fingers such that no gap exists between your thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger on the same hand. Use another hand to hold the outer side of the calf or ankle muscle depending upon how much stretch you can do. You may also use a strap instead of holding ankles directly if it is difficult for you to reach them due to short arms or tight back muscles.
  • Now, inhale again and come back

Mental Benefits of Big Toe Pose

  • Develops balance and concentration.
  • It calms the mind.
  • Works on the Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, and Heart Chakras.

Bottom Line

Padangusthasana or Big Toe Pose is known to provide relief from stress, anxiety, and tension. It relaxes the mind and activates the reproductive and digestive systems to work more efficiently. The stretch of thigh muscles, hamstrings, and calves makes them strong and healthy. Additionally, it helps in menopause and menstruation for women as well as stretching of back muscles for people who have a desk job.

1 sources
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728955/
Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga. She is known around the world for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was also recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. Meera is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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