[Pose Of the Week] Stretch It Out With Hand-Under-Foot Pose (Beginner)

Stretch your entire back-body from hands to toes and balance your inner and outer worlds with Hand-Under-Foot-Pose…

Hand-Under-Foot Pose (Padahastasana) – also known as Hand-to-Foot Pose – is a slightly more advanced version of Standing Forward Bend Pose that offers some additional benefits. Besides stretching the hamstrings, spine, neck, and shoulders, this beginner-to-intermediate level pose also offers a great stretch for your wrists – an area of your body that is often neglected when it comes to stretching.

This is a very beneficial pose to do if you spend a lot of time sitting, as it releases the muscles of the legs, neck, back, and shoulders – all of which can become tight and painful after hours of working on the computer. It is also believed to improve digestion, stimulate the pineal and adrenal glands, calm the mind and relieve stress, boost creativity and motivation, and balance the body and mind. As you can tell, this is a great pose to do every day!

If you cannot reach your toes to start with, you can bend your knees. It is more important to hold under the toes than it is to do the pose with straight legs, so please bend your knees if you need to. You can work towards straightening the legs gradually as your flexibility improves.

Those with an existing back or hamstring injury, or those with heart problems, ulcers, or high blood pressure should avoid this pose.

How to Do Hand-Under-Foot Pose:

  1. Begin standing at the top of your mat. Exhale to fold forward from the hips. Keeping length in the front of your torso, bring your hands to the floor. Bend your knees as much as needed.
  2. Turn your hands palm face up and slide them under the soles of your feet so that the toes are at the wrist joint. Shift the weight of your feet front and back so that you find the appropriate amount for your hands and wrists.
  3. Once you have secured your hands with your feet, option to draw your elbows out to the sides and up. Keep the back of your neck long.
  4. Stay for up to 8 breaths before releasing the hands from beneath the feet and returning to standing.
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