Sunday, July 13, 2008

Padahastasana - The Hand-to-Feet Pose

"Pada" means "foot" and "Hasta" means "hand" in Sanskrit. You have to catch your big toes with your hands in this posture.

1. Stand upright with the feet parallel and the heels about six inches apart.
2. Inhaling, raise your hands straight above your head, palms outwards.
3. Exhaling, bend your head and trunk from the waist as far back as you can without tipping over, with upper arms touching the ears.
4. Inhaling, bend forward from the waist, keeping the knees straight and the upper arms touching the ears.
5. As soon as the arms extend straight above your head, start exhaling and continue to bend your head and trunk forward from the waist.
6. Reach forward and catch hold of the big toes with your thumbs, index and middle fingers.
7. Holding out your breath, pull the big toes and move your forehead into the space between the knees. Keep the legs straight and the knees stiff.
8. Maintain this position for a few seconds while holding out your breath.
9. Start inhaling and return slowly to the upright position in the reverse order.


* Padahastasana secures the maximum stretching of the posterior muscles, from the legs to the neck. The lateral muscles of the trunk are also brought into play to some extent.
* The tendons and ligaments of the thighs and legs are well stretched and the hamstring muscles at the back of the thighs are strengthened by this practice.
* It also gives a good pull to the sciatic nerve.
* The ankles, calves, the back of the thighs, hips, waist, back, shoulders and neck are all well exercised and blood is rushed to all these parts.

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