- pāda = foot or leg
- hasta = hand
- āsana = posture
Alt. Name:Hand to Foot / Hand Under Foot
Category:Standing / Forward Bend
Begin from an upright standing position with the feet parallel (about six inches apart) and the front of the thighs contracted to lift the kneecaps. The body is bent forward from the crease of the hip joints with the legs completely straight and the torso parallel to the earth. The index and middle fingers of each hand are wrapped between the big toes and the second toes. Fingers and thumbs are curled around and under the big toes to firmly secure the wrap. The toes press down against the fingers. To fold deeper into the pose the sitting bones are lifted up towards the sky, the torso is pressed towards the thighs and the crown of the head is lowered towards the earth. Depending on flexibility, the lower back hollows to a greater or lesser degree. At the same time, without compressing the back of the neck, the sternum is lifted. The forehead stays relaxed. For the full extension of the pose the elbows bend out to the sides as the toes are pulled up. This lengthens the front and sides of the torso. For very long hamstrings, draw the forehead toward the shins. For hamstrings that are short, it is better to focus on keeping the front torso long. The gaze is down or towards the body.
Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and anxiety. Stimulates the liver and the kidneys. Stretches the hamstrings and the calves. Strengthens the thighs. Improves digestion. Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause. Helps relieve headaches and insomnia.