Master Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose

How to move from Utthita Hasta
Padangusthasana to Eka Pada Vasisthasana.
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How to move from Utthita Hasta
Padangusthasana to Eka Pada Vasisthasana.
Standing hand to big toe pose, noah maze

NEXT STEP IN YOGAPEDIA3 Ways to Modify Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
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Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana: utthita = extended · hasta = hand · padangustha = big toe · asana = pose
Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose

Benefits

Strengthens the feet, ankles, legs, hips, and core; stabilizes the ankles; develops focus, confidence, and balance

Instruction

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your legs and feet together. Press evenly through the inner and outer edges of your feet. Lift up through your spine. Gaze forward and stretch your arms by your sides.
  2. Exhale, press down through your left leg, and turn your right hip out as much as you can without turning your pelvis to the right. Bring your left hand to your left hip.
  3. Inhale, bend your right knee out to the side and up to grab your big toe with the first two fingers of your right hand. Strongly pull up your left kneecap, engage your quadriceps, and keep your left knee straight.
  4. With your right knee still bent, move your right leg to the right up to 90 degrees—go as far as you can without letting your pelvis or left thigh rotate to the right. Externally rotate your right hip and keep your pelvis level. Lift your torso. Inhale, straighten your right leg to the side as much as possible while keeping your torso upright.
  5. Keep your standing leg strong by continuously lifting your left kneecap. Firm your outer left hip in toward the midline and roll your right buttock down without tucking your pelvis. Keep your abdomen engaged. Externally rotate your upper right arm. Keep your left hand on your hip and gaze forward. Hold for 5–8 breaths.
  6. Inhale, bend your right knee; exhale, release your hand, and return to Tadasana. Repeat on the other side.

Avoid These Common Mistakes


Don’t allow your pelvis to overly lift on the outstretched-leg side. Instead, keep your pelvis parallel to the floor as best you can. If it lifts, the elevated leg internally rotates and can contribute to instability in the hamstrings, hips, and pelvis.

Don’t sink or slump your weight into the hip of your standing leg, causing it to move away from the midline. If this happens, it means that the glutes are not engaged, creating instability in the outer hip and pelvis.

Hand to big toe don't
Hand to big toe don't

See alsoGlute Anatomy to Improve Your Yoga Practice

About Our Pro
Teacher and model Noah Mazé founded Noah Mazé Yoga in 2003; in 2012, he founded his Los Angeles–based YOGAMAZÉ yoga school, which offers online and in-person teacher trainings. His curriculum combines detailed alignment with vinyasa theory. He began practicing yoga at age 14, studying with Richard Freeman, Pattabhi Jois, John Friend, and Manouso Manos, and he continues to study with teachers of all yoga styles and traditions. Learn more at yogamaze.net.