From the family of forwarding folds comes the Padangusthasana(Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose). Padangusthasana is a basic standing yoga posture suitable for all levels of yoga practitioners. As the practitioners bend forward to grasp their toes, the muscles of the body get stretched rewarding your body and mind immensely. The stretching effect of the pose relaxes the body-mind, releases stiffness and makes you feel at ease.
When the Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose is practiced slowly and in accordance with the body limitations, you can reap the health benefits of Padangusthasana in an enhanced manner. Given below is the guide to practice the Padangusthasana in the right fashion.
01. Stand tall on the middle of a yoga mat.
02. Keep your inner feet parallel to the ground and about 5-6 inches apart
03. Keeping the legs absolutely straight, exhale and bend forward.
04. As you fold down, ensure the spine is erect.
05. Slip the index and middle fingers of each hand between the toe and finger of the feet.
06. Firm the grasp by wrapping the thumbs around the fingers.
07. Press your toes against your fingers and thumb
08. Inhale, lift up and lengthen your torso.
09. Exhale, raise your sitting bones and again gently hinge down from the hips.
10. Hold the final position for 60 seconds.
11. To exit, release the toes, bring the hands to the hips and swing upright in Tadasana.
Use of Props for Ease of Practice:
For novice performers of Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose, it can be difficult to hold the toes and keep the knees straight. Therefore, loop a strap around the middle arch of the feet for a handhold.
Variations of Padangusthasana for individuals who cannot perform the pose for reasons. But, wish to savor the health benefits of Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose.
1. Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose): Lie supine on the floor. Keep the legs straight and arms by your side. Now, bend your left knee and place the feet on the ground. Gently, lift the leg up and straighten the knee. You can place a yoga belt around the foot and hold the end in your hands. With the belt around, you can easily raise and stretch the leg about 60-degree angle to the floor.
2. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose): Stand in Tadasana on the ground. Rest your left hand on your left hip. Slowly, extend the right leg out. Simultaneously, stretch the right arm to hold the toe of the right feet with the right hand.
The Health Benefits of Hand-to-Big Toe Pose:
1. Healthy Elimination: Owing to the unhealthy eating patterns, zero-nutrition food and lack of exercise, most of us suffer from digestion problems on a regular basis. With healthy food choices, start the practice of Padangusthasana to get rid of bloating and gastric problems. In the pose, you fold forward that gives a massage to the digestive tract thus stimulating its vital functions of digestion and elimination.
2. Rejuvenated Body-Mind: As Padangusthasana is a forward fold pose, you bend forward from the hips keeping the legs and spine straight. From bending to keeping the legs straight, every movement results in stretching of the muscles in the body. The stretching and pulling effect releases tension, tones the body and makes you feel at ease and rejuvenated.
3. Optimally Functioning Abdominal Organs: The benefits of Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose for the abdominal organs are numerous and impressive. The bending movement makes the abdominal organs healthy as it massages the liver, spleen and other organs. The gentle rubbing stimulates the functioning of the organs to an optimal level. The more attention you give to your organs, the better they function.
4. Releases Hamstrings: The systematic bending and lifting in the Hand-to -Big Toe Pose releases and relaxes the hamstrings, calves, thighs and groins. Padangusthasana is one of the best poses to stretch the hamstrings and to relish the healthy lower body health benefits of Padangusthasana.
5. Grants Mental Calmness: The mental health benefits of Padangusthasana include calmness and heightened concentration. Due to the forward movement, the head is bent that allows fresh blood to reach the brain easily. With the enhanced blood flow, the nerves are nourished that fosters a state of serenity and focus.
6. Unlocks the Chakra: The Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose activates the two chakras of the body: the Sacral Chakra representing the emotional health and the Ajna Chakra (third eye) linked to wisdom and intuition. With the unlocking of these two chakras, you can feel spirituality developing within.
7. Stronger Lower Body: The breath coordinated practice of Padangusthasana leads to the flow of prana into the lower body. With this action, the lower body gets revitalized and is able to perform its functions in a better way.
Keep your body and mind fresh, healthy, and strong with the hassle-free practice of Padangusthasana (Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose).