The Leg Stretch is an intermediate yoga pose that works great for stretching your hamstrings while also challenging your balance.
Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose in English and Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana in Sanskrit. This is one of those balancing poses that can benefit both the front and back of the body. In addition, this move also prepares you for more difficult poses such as monkey pose (Hanumanasana) or standing splits (Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana).
Benefits of the leg stretch pose in yoga
The biggest effect of the standing leg pull is to strengthen the legs and ankles. In addition, this pose also helps:
- Deep hamstring stretch (back thigh muscle)
- Open hips, shoulders and arms
- Effective weight loss support
- Good for the digestive system, supporting the treatment of problems such as indigestion, bloating, heartburn
- Reduces stress and is good for the nervous system
In addition to the above benefits, the leg stretch pose also poses challenges to improve balance, thereby improving concentration.
Detailed instructions on how to do the standing leg pull pose
The leg stretch pose is also known as the standing leg stretch pose. This is a variation of the supine position pulling the legs
With the standing leg pull pose, you will:
- Start in mountain pose (Tadasana) with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Breathe deeply and relax
- Shift weight to left foot. Slowly, move your right knee toward your chest
- Bring right arm inside right thigh
- Loop the index and middle fingers around the big toe of the right foot
- Then, put your left hand on your left hip, paying attention to keep your spine straight
- Left leg straight but not fixed knee
- Exhale, straighten your right leg forward as much as possible
- Relax your neck and shoulders but don’t let them bend to the sides
- Hold the pose for 5-20 breaths. To exit, move your right knee toward your chest, then slowly lower your leg to the floor. Return to mountain pose, rest for a few breaths, and switch to left leg.
Note when performing the action
The standing leg pull pose will be an extremely challenging pose for your muscles and mind. Therefore:
- During the exercise, try to keep the spine straight and the shoulders relaxed instead of trying to straighten the legs forward. If this is not possible, you can bend your knees slightly or use a support band.
- When performing, if you feel that your body is not flexible enough, modify your posture or use a support rope. Do not force your body to perform the pose.
- Keep your knees and feet pointed straight ahead.
- Focus on stretching the muscles instead of trying to lift the leg. No matter how high the leg is raised, it won’t work if you don’t align it correctly. Try to maintain balance in both feet.
- Take it slow and don’t be afraid to fall. If you fall, try again
- Do not practice this pose if you have an ankle or low back injury.
Always perform within your limits and abilities. If you have a health problem that makes you wonder whether or not to practice standing leg pull, consult your doctor and practice under the guidance of a professional yoga teacher.
Variations of standing leg pull
If you can’t straighten your raised leg while keeping your spine straight, try using a yoga band for support
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is a deep stretch if practiced properly. If your hamstrings lack flexibility, this pose may not seem feasible. Therefore, before performing the leg stretch pose, you should persist in performing good yoga poses for hamstrings to improve the flexibility of this muscle group. Alternatively, you can also modify this pose to find a variation of the pose that works for you:
- If you can’t straighten your raised leg while keeping your spine straight, try using a support yoga band. Wrap the yoga rope around the soles of your feet, grasp the two ends of the rope with your hands, then straighten your legs.
- Or you can also support the raised leg off the floor by resting it on a chair, table, etc. or press that foot to the wall.
- To increase the difficulty, you can bend forward while keeping your legs straight.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is very effective in stretching the legs and increasing the ability to keep balance. Not only that, this pose also gives you a mental and physical challenge when practicing. Remember to take it slow and make sure to modify as needed. If you still can’t do it or don’t know how to align the posture correctly, immediately download easyhealthylive.com to your device for specific instructions from easyhealthylive.com’s yoga instructors.
How to Do Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose in Yoga https://www.yogaoutlet.com/blogs/guides/how-to-do-standing-hand-to-big-toe-pos-in-yoga#:~: text=Utthita%20Hasta%20Padangusthasana%20strengthens%20and,develops%20greater%20concentration%20and%20focus. Access date: 13/3/2021
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.