Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana or Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose
English Name(s)
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose, Standing Hand To Big Toe Pose, Stretched Hand Grasps Big Toe
Sanskrit
उत्थित हस्त पादान्गुष्ठासन / Utthita Hasta Pādānguṣṭhāsana
Pronunciation
Oo-tee-ta Has-ta Pa-dan-goos-tah-sanna
Meaning
utthita: “extended”
hasta: “hand”
pada: “foot”
angusta: “big toe”
āsana: “posture”

Introduction

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (oo-TEET-uh-HAWS-tuh POD-ung-goos-THAWS-un-nuh) stretches and strengthens the legs and ankles, particularly the hamstrings. It gently stretches the shoulders and arms, while improving your sense of balance.

This Pose works greatly on your hamstrings and opens your hips. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana also strengthens and stretches your ankles, calves, thighs, and spine; it improves balance; stimulates the abdominal organs and heart; helps relieve stress in the shoulders. Utthita Hasta Padangustasana you learn how to maintain stability while stretching a muscle group that is normally tight for many people: the hamstrings. Utthita Hasta Padangustasana creates space along the back body by lengthening through all four sides of the waist as well as through both hip points equally.

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

Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Lower Back Muscles
  • Calf Muscles
  • Gluteus (Hip muscles)
  • Hamstrings (Rear Thighs)
  • Hips
  • Quads (Front Thighs)
  • Adductors
  • Tibialis posterior

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • It helps to stretch Hamstring muscles.
  • Strengthens key muscles.
  • Counteracts Sedentary Lifestyle.

Benefits of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana or Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose

1. Stretches Iliotibial Bands

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is a great way of stretching the Iliotibial bands of both legs that run along the sides of your thighs from your hips to your knees.

2. Stretches Hamstrings

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is a deep hamstring stretch that also opens up the inside, adductor muscles of the legs which are very often tight in people who spend a lot of time sitting.

3. Strengthens Ankles, Calves, Thighs, and Spine

Utthita hasta Padangustasana is a great pose to stretch the hamstrings, hips, groins, and calves while strengthening the legs at large.

4. Improves Balance

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana increases flexibility and strength in both hamstrings and calves, improves balance, and strengthens the thighs, knees, and spine.

5. Improves Coordination

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana also helps you improve your coordination as well as focus.

6. Stimulates Abdominal Organs and Heart

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is a standing pose that stretches the hamstrings and stimulates the abdominal organs.

7. Opens up the Chest and Improves Blood Circulation

Utthita hasta Padangustasana also opens up your chest and shoulders which improves circulation throughout the body, thus improving blood flow to the heart.

8. Very Helpful for People Having a Sedentary Lifestyle

For people who have a sedentary lifestyle, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana can be very helpful in countering the effects of sitting for extended periods of time. It helps to improve balance, coordination, and focus; stretch the hamstrings and adductors, and stimulate the abdominal organs.

9. Eases Stress in Shoulders

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is also beneficial in easing the stress that accumulates in the shoulder region from computer work or other prolonged activities that require the use of the arms.

10.  Maintaining Stability

In Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana you learn how to maintain stability.

Contraindications

Avoid this pose if you have ankle or low back injuries. Also, women who are pregnant should be cautious about their balance in this pose and should consider using a chair or wall for balance.

Variations

  • Supta Padangusthasana (Supine Lying Hamstring Stretch Pose)
  • Padangusthasana Variations

Preparatory Pose

  • Supta Padangusthasana (Supine Lying Hamstring Stretch Pose)
  • JanuSirasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)
  • Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)

Beginner’s Tips

  • Practice Utthita Hasta Padangustasana in front of a wall to reduce the possibility of falling over. Utthita hasta Padangustasana is suitable for both beginners and advanced yogis alike, but it’s always important to practice caution and use common sense when trying a new pose.
  • If you find the stretch too intense, back off and only reach as far as is comfortable for you. Remember that this pose can be modified by bending your knee if needed.
  • When folding forward in Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, be sure to keep a long spine and avoid rounding your back.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t quite reach your toe the first time – practice makes perfect! With patience and regular practice, you’ll be able to extend your leg further.
  • Remember to keep breathing throughout the pose.

How to do Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose

Step-by-step guide to Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana or Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose

  • Begin by standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
  • Shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right leg off the ground.
  • Bend your right knee and bring it as close to your chest as you can while keeping your back straight.
  • Catch your right big toe with your thumb and first two fingers.
  • If you can’t reach your toe, use a strap or towel around the ball of your foot.
  • Make sure that both hips are facing forward.
  • Press down into the left foot to help you balance.
  • Once you’re stable, inhale and stretch your right leg out as far as possible while keeping it straight. Your heel should be in line with your hip.
  • Hold for five breaths then exhale and release the pose, switch sides, and repeat.

Mental Benefits Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose

  • Focuses your mind.
  • Helps build a connection between you and your breath.
  • Increases concentration and connection to your breath.
  • Your mind becomes calm.

Bottom Line

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose) is a great way to improve balance, coordination, focus, stretch hamstrings and adductors muscles, as well as stimulate abdominal organs. It’s also helpful for people who have a sedentary lifestyle by improving circulation throughout their body and easing stress accumulated in their shoulders from prolonged activities that use the arms.

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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