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The Padahastasana is a popular yoga pose or asana that is usually practised during the Surya Namaskar. It’s a great forward bend pose that improves flexibility, strengthens the spine, back muscles, hamstrings and thighs. It’s also called the “hand-to-foot” pose since it involves bending forward and touching your hands to your feet.
The Padahastasana has plenty of benefits and is not very hard to do for beginners as well. Let’s get an in-depth look at the steps and benefits of this useful asana.
Benefits of Padahastasana
The Padahastasana yoga pose focuses on the abdomen and the digestive organs within. It effectively improves organ function and hence prevents digestive issues like bloating and acidity.
Strengthens the Back
Since the back goes through its full range of motion during the pose, the spine and associated muscles in the back are stretched considerably. This greatly improves back strength and flexibility. If you’re someone who suffers from back stiffness due to prolonged inactivity, the Padahastasana can be very beneficial.
Tones Thigh Muscles and Hamstrings
Bending down and touching your toes with straight knees puts a considerable load on your thigh muscles and hamstrings. You'll immediately feel your thighs getting worked up when you perform this pose. Thus, the Padahastasana benefits the thigh muscles and hamstrings to a great extent.
Helps in Weight Loss
The Padahastasana aids in weight loss since it helps burn calories and improves muscle tone. Although not singularly effective for losing weight, it can be a great adjunct exercise to your weight loss routine like cardio and aerobics.
Steps to Perform the Padahastasana
Although the Pada hastasana is a moderately difficult yoga asana to perform, one can achieve the flexibility to do this pose with practice. Once mastered, even children and the elderly can easily perform this asana. Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing the Padahastasana:
- Start with a light 5-minute warm-up before attempting the pose. Warmed-up muscles stretch better and are less prone to strains. A warm-up is essential before attempting the Padahastasana steps.
- On a suitable yoga mat, stand upright with your back straight and arms at your sides. Your chest should be extended outwards.
- Raise your arms over your head with straight elbows as you inhale slowly. Your biceps should be brushing your ears.
- Your body should not be too relaxed or slouching. It should be firm enough. The pose requires that you imagine your body has no bones. This way, you can perform the asana without exerting too much.
- Slowly turn your palms forward and start exhaling. At the same time, start bending forward gently, moving your arms in an arc.
- Ensure your knees do not bend. Do not force yourself to complete the arc. If you’re just starting yoga, you may bend your knees slightly and reach as low as your body allows you to.
- Bend until your palms reach your toes. You can either grasp your ankles or put your palms beneath your feet.
- Once you’re in position, ensure your knees and legs are straight, and your neck is relaxed.
- Hold the Padahastasana for 15-30 seconds, and gently lift yourself back up. Repeat 5-6 times.
- You may practise Padahastasana 2-3 times yogaevery day.
The Padahastasana is regarded as one of the best yoga poses for the back. But since it involves an extreme bend, one needs to follow precautions to prevent injury. The correct technique and steps are paramount.
For expert guidance on the safest ways to perform this pose, sign up for a FITPASS membership. You can not only find the best yoga classes near you but also get access to FITCOACH, an AI-led workout coach with dedicated workout plans and smart instructional videos.