Padahastasana

Intermidate

Standing Asanas

Padahastasana

Hand To Foot Pose

(pa-da-has-ta-sun)

Meaning: pada = foot / hasta = hand

Spinal Movements:

Preparation

Stand upright with a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, arms at your sides, feet together. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Getting into position

Step 1. Exhale. Inhaling, raise your arms overhead, palms together, and lengthen your spine (head in between the arms). Exhaling, bend forward from the hips, pause at 90 degrees for a few seconds to lengthen your spine, then continue until your hands touch the floor. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling, place palms outside the feet, activate your lower abdomen, and bring your chin toward or below the knees (keeping spine straight and knees locked).

Step 2. Inhale. Exhaling, relax the back for a few moments, then grab the backs of your ankles, activate the abdomen, bring the forehead as close to the knees (or below) as possible. Keep legs straight the entire time. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling, stretch farther. Hold with normal breathing for around 30 seconds.

Coming out of position

Relax the hands and torso, bring hands together and in front of you. Exhale. Inhaling, straighten the spine and raise your torso up (arms above the head). Exhaling, lower arms back to starting position. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Tips

  • Do not make any jerky and sudden motions while moving up or down.
  • Go step by step – stretch, bend, stretch, bend – stretching on the inhale, bending on the exhalation.
  • Always inhale partially, then exhale completely down. Try to go a little farther on each exhalation.
  • Do not hunch your back when in position.
  • Do not overstrain the hamstrings. Bend the knees slightly if necessary, or if your knees have hyper-mobility.
  • To get more out of this pose, rotate your thighs inward to create more space in the hips, which will allow you to fold deeper into the pose, and your tailbone to rise higher.

Precautions

Avoid

If you have chronic/serious back or neck problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, or herniated (slipped) disc.

Be careful

If you have low blood pressure, stomach ulcers, or get dizzy easily.

Benefits

General

  • Stretches the entire back of the body (heels to neck).
  • improves spinal flexibility.
  • Strengthens the shoulders, arms, abdomen, and hip flexors.
  • Increases blood flow to the head and brain.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs.

Therapeutic

Helps to reduce the symptoms of high blood pressure, asthma, infertility, sinusitis and osteoporosis and relieves insomnia and headache.

Variations

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