Yoga Pose of the week: Utthita Hasta Padangustasana B
Yoga

Yoga Pose of the week: Utthita Hasta Padangustasana B

Posted

29 November 2015

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Utthita Hasta Padangustasana or Extended Hand to Big Toe pose might seem to some a pose that they might never master, but I bid you patience. Like everything that requires practice, this asana will be within your reach with patience and practice.

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Utthita: Standing
Hasta: Hand
Pada: Foot
Angusta: Big toe
Asana: Pose

How to do:



Start Slow

This is an intermediate yoga pose that will test your balance and focus. In the beginning it might seem like you will never get it, but as you maintain and improve your focus, so too will your balance improve. The goal isn’t to get to the end of the pose as soon as possible. As with many things, the journey there is what is important. Engage your core and keep your eyes focused on one spot ahead of you - it helps with your balance and focus. If your hamstrings are tight, it will be hard to stretch your legs out in front of you and then extend it out to the side to get into the full pose. In this case, keep your knees bent and wrap your arms around your knees - it is better to work on your balance than getting the full pose. Alternatively, you can also use a towel or strap to wrap around the ball of your feet so you can extend your legs without hunching over. If you find you can’t balance yet, it is okay to use a chair to hold onto, just don’t grow to rely on the chair for balance.

This pose certainly challenges you to keep your focus, since if you aren’t focused, it will be quite hard to get into and hold the pose. This asana is a prep pose for deeper hamstring stretches like Standing Splits or Hanumanasana. It is a great way to work on your core, strengthens the legs and ankles (you will feel the burn!), stretches the backs of the legs and of course improves your sense of balance.

Therapeutics

Since this isn’t an asana you can just get into without a healthy dose of focus, it helps to train the mind to be calm, and develop a greater sense of concentration. This is also a good pose for those suffering from Osteoporosis, menstruation cramps, headache and insomnia. Just be gentle with yourself and go slow.

Contraindications

Those who are suffering from ankle or lower back injuries should refrain from doing this pose. It puts a huge strain on the ankles, so it’s best to let your body heal before continuing.


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