Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana I (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose) | iHanuman

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Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana I

English Name: 
Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Practice Type: 
Practice Level: 
Asana Image: 
Model: Sondra Loring Photo Credit: Robert Sturman
Asana Description: 

This pose is done by standing on one leg, extending the other leg parallel to the floor or higher in front, holding the toe of the extended leg with the extended arm (ultimately resting the head on the leg).

Classification: Udara Akunchana Kriya

Geometry: Left Leg is Straight as in Tadasana. Right leg is extended. Pelvis is level. Torso is Vertical as in Tadasana. Arms stretch straight. Hands Hold the foot or a strap

Variations:
a. Supported and standing facing the wall

b. Supported and standing against the wall

Supported and Standing Facing the Wall

Actions:
Stand in Tadasana 2 - 3 feet away from a wall.
Exhale, Bend the right leg and lift it up to place it on the wall so that it is parallel with the floor.
Toes point toward the ceiling. Foot presses evenly onto the wall. Quadriceps lift and the thigh bone presses down towards the floor.
Outerhip draws down. Both sides of the waist lengthen as in Tadasana.
Arms stretch straight towards the foot. Shoulders roll down away from the ears. Shoulderblades move into the body.
Bring the leg higher on the wall ONLY after you are able to maintain all of these actions.

Supported and Standing Against the Wall
Stand with your back against the wall and place a chair three feet away.
Keep the palms on the wall and stand erect in Samasthiti.
Bend the right knee and place the center of the right heel on the chair seat or chair back.
The right toes reach for the ceiling and right leg stretches.
Press the palms into the wall to lift the spine upwards.
The head is erect and the gaze is forward.
Tailbone in.
Bend the leg and repeat on the other side.

Full Pose:

Stand in tadasana. Exhale. Raise the right leg. Bend the right knee and hold the big toe of the right foot between the thumb and the fore and middle fingers of the right hand.
Place the left hand on the left hip and balance.
Exhale. Stretch the right leg forward and pull back on the big toe with the fingers.
When you are firm in the position, hold the right foot with both hands and raise it still higher.
With an exhalation rest the head, nose, then the chin on the right knee and breathe.
Exhale. Release the hands and lower the right leg to the floor.
Repeat on the other side. 

Actions:
Feet Press evenly down into the floor as in Tadasana or forward as in Dandasana
Quadriceps of both legs lift.
The Pelvis is level as in Tadasana.
The thighbones press down/back into their own socket.
Both sides of the torso/chest lifts as in Tadasana or Garudasana.
The fingers pull against the toes and vice versa as in Padangustasana.
The outer shoulders move back and shoulder blades move into the back as in Padangustasana.

Sanskrit Pronunciation: 
Classification: 
Energetic: 
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Benefits: 

This asana makes the leg muscles powerful and the balance gives one steadiness and poise.

This asana is similar to Supta Padangustasana, but is done in a standing position to that there is freedom of movement for the spine. This is more effective in conditions such as slipped disc, backache, weakness in hip muscles, unequal length in the legs. (YGFW)

This posture removes backache and relieves lumbago, sciatica, rheumatism, and slipped disc.

These asanas (supta and utthita hasta padangustasana I, II, & III) are a boon for women at menopause, which causes stiffness at the pelvic joints, pain in the lower back, burning and itching sensation in the vagina.

Beginners Tips: 

One can put the belt around the foot and extend the trunk.

Do not lift the shoulders or contract the neck.

Do not turn the right buttock out. Keep the trunk straight.

Do not lean forward.

Do not turn the left foot out.

Keep both the pelvic bones parallel to each other. 

Modifications and Props : 

Common Issues:
Pelvis is not level. Lifted leg hip lifts.

Shoulders are not moving down.

Shoulderblades are not moving into the back.

Chest is not lifted.

Chest is forward.

Standing leg foot and leg is not in Tadasana. It is either forward or behind its own hip.

Contraindications: 

The second version (back against the wall) is given for knee pain, sciatica, lower back back pain, etc. which one can adopt when necessary. (LOY, YIAIC)