UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA (Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose)
- Start in Tadasana (Mountain pose) with your feet together, finding your space and stability in the body. Spread your toes wide and seek a firm pose.
- Before you enter the pose make sure that you are focused in a fixed point and that the feet have a steady contact with the ground. Try to feel the four corners of your feet and keep your legs active by hugging them.
- Inhale and lift your right leg up towards your chest.
- Bring your right hand to your right foot and crab the big toe.
- Exhale and slowly straighten your leg in front of your body. Keep focusing on a fixed point and breath in the posture.
- Your left hand can be placed on the hip or the arm can be extended to the side for more balance.
- Keep the posture for as long as you can keep a good pose and exhale to bring your right leg down to Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
- Repeat with the left leg.
OBSERVATIONS: Keep your body straight as in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and lift your side ribs away from your pelvis to extend your upper body. Draw the hip on the extended leg back and downwards (by working with the outer side of your upper thigh) to help level your pelvis, and at the same time work with extending the leg forward away from the pelvis (by working with the inner side of your back thigh). Opposite work which make the practice so interesting!
BENEFITS: Improves concentration and help us to maintain focus. Straighten the ankle, the hip and leg muscles are toned and hamstring muscle stretches.
CONTRADICTION: Do not practice this pose with hip problem or sciatica.
VARIATION: If you want to deepen in the pose and take more time to focus on the details of the body you can support your extended leg (see photo above: UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA variation) and in case your hand cannot reach your big toe you can also use a rope.