How To Do The Big Toe Pose And What Are Its Benefits: Padangusthasana
The Big Toe Pose or the Padangusthasana is one of the easier poses in yoga. Most yoga practitioners will learn how to do this pose in the early practices and sessions of yoga. Padangusthasana is very good stretching pose for all muscles of the body – from head to toe. This pose is good for those who have a flat feet.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
Like any yoga asana or pose and for any beginner it is important to know the limits of your own body. If while doing any asana at any point of time, you feel any awkward pain or pull, it makes sense to stop doing it. Most beginners should start yoga in the presence of a trained instructor. That way they not only learn the correct way of the pose but can immediately seek relief should there be any pain. If you have any lower back or neck injuries or pain, this pose is not advisable. If you have weak ankles, you should not do the advanced versions of the big toe pose.
How To Do The PadangusthasanaStep-by-Step Instructions
1. The first step is to stand upright with your feet parallel to each other. The feet should be at least six inches apart. Your legs also need to be straight.
2. Now contract your thigh muscles, which will lift your knee caps outward.
3. Keep your legs straight as you now bend forward with an aim of touching your forehead to your knee. Your torso and head should move together.
4. Once you are in this position, grip your big toes with fingers of each foot. Grip your toes firmly with your fingers.
5. Then press your toes into your hand. If you are not able to catch your toes with changing your posture, you can also use a band or a strap to hook under your toes and hold that instead.
6. Now, as you inhale, lift your torso and straighten your elbows.
7. Do this for as high as you can without stressing any other part like your neck for instance.
8. Exhale when you release your torso and bend towards your toes again. Do this repeatedly.
9. Straighten as if going back to the starting position but holding your toes. Do this cycle of inhalation and exhalation a few times, increasing the stretch of the torso every time you stretch.
10. Come back to the starting position by slowly releasing the band and straightening up.
Modifications & Variations
- Raised Hand Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)– Advanced Version- In standing position, extend your leg to the side and reach for your big toe. This variation stretches the hips and thighs deeply.
The Benefits Of The Padangusthasana
These are some amazing benefits of practicing this asana.
- It calms the brain and relieves anxiety, stress, and mild depression.
- The liver and kidneys are activated.
- The calves and hamstrings get a good stretch.
- The thighs become strong.
- The digestive system and the reproductive system are stimulated.
- Digestion is improved.
- Menopause and menstrual disorders are reduced.
- Headaches and insomnia are relieved.
- Reclining Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)
- Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Intense Forward Bending Pose (Uttanasana)
- Mountain Pose (Pashchimottanasana)
Follow Up Poses
- Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
- Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Do not perform this pose if you have:
- Neck injury
- Lower back injury