[Pose Of the Week] Revolved Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Intermediate)

Build balance, strength, and confidence with Revolved Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose…

Revolved Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana) – also known as Dancing Shiva Pose – is a slightly more advanced variation of Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose that offers an extra challenge to both balance and flexibility. This pose improves concentration and focus, energizes the mind, and also provides a gentle twist to aid your body’s detoxification and digestive processes. You will also strengthen your legs and core, improve your balance, and increase spine, leg, and hip flexibility with regular practice.

Dancing Shiva is said to represent the universal cycles of birth and death, and to help improve your ability to find balance and peace in the midst of the changes of life.

To make the pose more accessible if you have limited flexibility, you can use a wall or chair for balance, and/or place a yoga strap around your extended foot. Remember to breathe deeply and slowly throughout the pose.

Those with knee or hamstring injuries should skip this one.

Here’s how to do Revolved Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose, step-by-step:

  1. Start Revolved Hand to Big Toe pose from Mountain pose at the front end of your mat. Shift your weight into your right leg, finding all four corners of the foot and lifting energetically up through the sole. Begin drawing the left foot away from the floor while finding your balance.
  2. Once you’re balancing on your left foot, draw the right knee into your chest. Take your time to breathe here, lengthening the spine and strengthening your standing leg. Use your index and middle fingers of your right hand to hold the big toe of your left foot. Continue rooting down through your tailbone as you start to extend out your left leg. The left thigh should be parallel to the floor and your spine should be perpendicular.
  3. Reach through your heart and broaden across the collarbones to counter the tendency to slouch forward when extending the left leg. Take your left hand to your hip, level your pelvis, then begin to reach the hand toward the back of your mat. Deepen the twist by rooting the femur of your left leg into the hip joint as you draw your right ribs forward.
  4. If you can remain balanced, slowly start to move your gaze back towards your left hand. Do this movement slowly and intentionally to avoid losing balance. Hold this pose for five to ten breaths before untwisting and slowly lowering the lifted leg down to the floor. Stay in Tadasana for a few breaths before repeating on the other side.
Read more about this pose at Gaia.com


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