AnatomyGlutes, Hamstrings, Hips, Legs, Spine, Thighs
Pose TypeBalance, Standing
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (oo-tee-tah ha-sta pad-an-goosh-TAHS-anah) utthita = extended hasta = hand pada = foot angusta = big toe
- Lengthens the hamstring of the extended leg
- Stabilizes the hip joint of the standing leg
- Improves single leg balance and stability
- Strengthens the entire spine
- Strengthens the ankle, knee, hip, and shoulder joints, as well as supportive structures of the joints in the standing leg
- Hip pathologies
- Balance deficits
- Low back pathologies (avoid rounding)
- Ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder injuries
- Start in Tadasana (Mountain pose) with feet hip-width apart, and begin to feel your weight shift over to your right foot. Engage the thigh of the standing leg to support the knee.
- Set your gaze. Inhale and lift your left knee, reaching for the big toe only if you are able to extend the spine back to neutral.
- Exhale, press the heel forward, and begin to extend the knee.
- Inhale and allow your spine to lengthen, lifting out of your torso and drawing your shoulder blades down your back.
- Exhale, draw the abdominals in, and lift the chest.
- Hold this pose for up to 5-10 slow breaths.
- To exit, inhale and release the toe, but keep the leg extended. Then exhale, and release your arm and extended leg to Tadasana. Repeat on the opposite side.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Feel free to practice near a wall for support; keep the knee bent as you raise it.
- Place hands at the hips for support or utilize a strap around the foot for extension.
- Stay in standing and extend the heel in front without reaching for the toes.
- Lift leg with a bent knee and reach for the front of the knee.
- Garudasana (Eagle pose)
- Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
- Vrkasana (Tree pose)
- Parsvottonasana (Pyramid pose)
- Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
- Tadasana (Mountain pose)
- Keep the upper and lower spine lifted through the torso.
- Keep hips stacked equally side by side, and slightly engage the inner thighs.
- Draw your knee toward your chest, reach for the inside of the big toe, and extend through the heel.
- On each inhale, feel your chest lift and spine lengthen. On each exhale, press the heel forward.
- Utthita Hasta Padangustasana B, C, D
WATCH OUT FOR
- Rounding of the spine
- Tight hamstrings: keep the knees bent
- Pain/strain in the knees, shoulders, or lower back