How to Achieve the Perfect Extended Big Toe Pose

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana or the Extended Big Toe Pose is an advanced variation of the Big Toe Pose that promotes strength and stability of posture and the mind. This pose requires a great deal of focus and rhythmic breathing while maintaining engagement of the middle and lower body muscles. 

 young woman doing yoga on a rooftop with tall buildings behind her - Extended big toe pose - ILYNSI Yoga

Benefits

  • Strengthens legs, spine, core, and ankles
  • Stretches hamstrings and shoulders
  • Provides steadiness and poise through balance Increases focus

The Pose

  • From Big Toe Pose and starting on the right side, take the right toe into yogi toe lock, left hand on the left hip, and shift your weight onto the left side of your body Keep your quadriceps, kneecaps, and core engaged Inhale, flexing the right foot, slowly come up to standing.
  • If you find yourself leaning your torso forward and rounding your back, to straighten your leg, then keep it bent it is more important to elongate your spine than to straighten your extended leg.
  • Draw the right shoulder back and down into its socket
  • Reach the chest bone forward
  • Roll the right hip bone back and straighten the leg fully
  • Exhale, bring the right hand to the hipbone and hold the right leg extended On the side of the lifted leg, draw you hip crease back to keep your hips square
  • Keep your spine upright with your shoulders in line over your hips
  • Ground the heel of your standing leg into the floor to maintain your balance and continue engaging your muscles
  • Repeat on the left

  • Beginners variation: From standing pose, use a strap around the right foot or bend the knee and clasp the hands under the thigh until the standing leg is straight. Keep the strap around the ball of the foot

Breaths: Hold for 5 to 10 breaths

Avoid

  • If you have ankle, foot, or lower back issues.
  • Also avoid letting your hip lift upward in an attempt to raise your leg, locking the knee of your standing leg, allowing your shoulder to protract forward as you hold your toe, or twisting your hips. 

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