This asana will transform our perception of life and empower us to maintain a connection with the core of stability within our Self. Anyone who has practised yoga for an extended length of time will notice that a physical position will elicit a certain mental and energetic response. When we balance on one leg in this pose, with the body held tall, the front and back body equally open, with awareness spreading through all the cells, our entire being enters a state of equilibrium. Our energy, nerve flow, mind, body, and breath unify, and we enter into a deep state of stillness.
This is an intermediate to advanced balancing posture that requires openness in the hamstrings to move into properly. So don’t be tempted to push further than your body allows.
If you cannot get the lifted leg straight, just hold in a bent-leg position until the hamstring opens over time. Then you can focus on taking the pose further.
Start in Tadasana / Mountain pose
Take a point at eye level to focus on with a soft gaze.
Exhale bring the weight on your left foot and lift your right knee up. Reach with your right hand along the inside of your leg for your big toe. Fold your thumb, middle finger and thumb around the big toe. Try to keep your back straight.
Keep the upper thigh of the standing leg pressing back. As far as possible on an in-breath extend your right leg out to the front, hold for about 5 breaths. It is more important to keep your back straight than it is to straighten your leg fully.
Keep the shoulders on the back, your chest open and both hips the same level.
When you are steady, inhale and bring your leg out to the right and look over your left shoulder.
Stay here for around 5 breaths, concentrating on the breath to help focus the mind.
Then on the next inhalation bring the leg and head back to the centre. As you exhale lower the foot back to the floor.
Repeat on the other side.
Physically, this pose is great for creating strength in the lower body, especially the legs and ankles. It also stretches and lengthens the back of the thighs. On a more subtle level, this pose requires focus and balance.
Keeping the concentration on a single point can help with concentration. Make sure to find your breath in balancing postures and be patient with yourself. Sometimes, the balance is ‘on’ and sometimes it’s ‘off’.
*Be sure you’ve stretched the hamstrings substantially before attempting this balancing posture. The more open the back of your legs are, the easier this will be.
*For beginners, you can support your extended leg on the edge of a chair or wall to feel the correct alignment.
*Try to draw the shoulder of the arm holding the foot back to create more length and find the integrity of the spine
*Breathe and be patient.
Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose strengthens your ankles and legs along with stretches the backs of your legs.
Stretches your adductor muscles of your raised leg and hamstrings also.
This Yoga Pose is good for your core.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is Beneficial for your nervous system.
THE KEY IS TO KEEP THE LOOK AT A FIXED POINT AND BREATHE SLOWLY.