One of the most basic Hatha yoga standing poses is Padahastasana. What is “Padahastasana? It’s a standing forward bend and frequently the first pose of a standing series. Three variations include holding your big toes with the yogi grip, placing your palms underneath the ball of your foot or, depending on your flexibility, simply grasping your calves or ankles.
Sequence for Yoga Standing Poses
In Hatha yoga, forward bends follow Surya Namaskar / Sun Salutation. You can follow Padhastasana with countless asanas in a standing series, including Tiryaka Tadasana — the Swaying Palm Tree Pose, Kati Chakrasana — the waist rotating pose, or Trikonasana — the triangle pose. Just as a suggestion, a nice start to a yoga standing series would be: 1) Padahastasana, 2) Trikonasana and 3) Rreverse Trikonasana.
Hold Padahastasana- Avoid Dizziness
Hold Padahastasana from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. In a Hatha yoga class you might hold Padahastasana for a minute or two. In an Ashtanga yoga class you hold Padahastasana for five breaths. Use caution when holding this pose for more than 30 seconds as you may feel dizzy when coming up to a standing position. To prevent that dizzy feeling, bend your knees slightly, relax your arms and head and roll up one vertebrae at a time with your head coming up last
Yoga Contraindications for Padahastasana
Padahastasana contraindications include, but are not limited to, serious back problems, sciatica, heart disease, hypertension and hernias, according to the book Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Consult your health practitioner for more information on your condition.
Directions for Padahastasana – Hand to Foot Pose
Although every body is different, at an intermediate level you, or your students, should be able to hold your big toes or place the palms of your hands underneath the soles of your feet in the final position of this forward bend.
- a) Stand in mountain pose / a.k.a. Tadasana or Samasthiti.
- b) Inhale as you raise your arms in front of you until your fingertips are pointed at the sky and your arms are next to your ears.
- c) Exhale and hinge at your hips with a flat back to bend over until you are parallel with the floor, then round down to touch your nose to your knees.
- d) Take your big toes with the yogi grip or place your hands underneath your feet and straighten your knees.
- e) Breathe deeply and think about bringing the crown of your head towards the floor.
- f) On the final exhale, release your hands.
- g) To come out of Padahastasana, bend your knees slightly, relax your arms and head. Roll up one vertebrae at a time with your head coming up last.