Hi yogis! Red Dawg here with the Pose of the Week, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, aka Extended Hand-Toe Pose. You will find this asymmetrical standing pose in our Hot 3 sequence. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is excellent for firming the core, engaging the pelvic floor, opening the hips, and stretching the hamstrings. It's also really fun!
There are several modifications for this pose to make it safe and accessible for everyBODY. We will begin with the most basic variation, which is where we should all start to build a solid foundation for further advancement.
From Tadasana, shift the weight into the right leg, which should be fully engaged and not locked. Keeping a vertical spine, lift the left leg, bend the knee, and draw the thigh in towards the belly. Hands interlaced on the shin and your gaze is directly in front of you. See Variation A. When you're ready, you can externally rotate the left hip, drawing it out to the left, right hand to the right hip, and eventually gazing over the right shoulder, breathing steadily for several deep breaths. Then, return to center. You can hold here, or bring the hands to the waist and extend the left leg while pointing the toes for several calm, deep breaths. Release and bring the left foot to meet the right.
If the above variation is comfortable and you're ready to advance, from Tadasana, shift the weight into your right leg. Right hand is on the right side of the waist. Bend the left knee and draw the left thigh in towards the body. Take the left arm inside of the left leg and wrap the peace fingers around the big toe. Or, you can wrap a towel or strap around the foot. Erect through the spine before advancing until vertical. Hips should be squared. If comfortable here, extend the left leg and point the toes. If you're still comfortable and the balance is maintained, externally rotate the left hip, drawing the left leg towards the left and gaze over the right shoulder.
Breathe steadily for several breaths. Return the left leg to central as well as your gaze and release the grip around the big toe, bringing the left hand to the left side waist. Hold the extended leg up as high as you can while maintaining a vertical spine for several breaths. See Variation B. This will be very strengthening so expect a burn the first few hundred times you do it
Remember that ever day is different. Enter this posture without expectations, enjoying wherever you progress to. Thanks for reading. Feel free to share with your friendssmile emoticon See you on the mat!