Padahastasana (Hand to Foot Pose) & Its Benefits
13 Feb 2023 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
What is Padahastasana?
. The term Padahastasana is traditionally derived from the Sanskrit Language where ‘Pada’ stands for ‘Foot’, ‘Hasta’ means ‘Hand’, and ‘Asana’ means ‘Posture’ or ‘Seat’. Padahastasana also known as ‘Hand to Foot Pose’ or ‘Standing Forward Bend’ works as a miracle to nurture one’s spiritual health.
Padahastasana or Hand to Foot pose is one of the most intense inverted yoga postures widely praised for its muscle strengthening and toning benefits. Being the third pose of Surya Namaskar, this semi-inversional pose of yoga is surmised to reduce tamas, which means heaviness of inertia in the body. Moreover, Padahastasana is believed to enrich body balance and spiritual cleansing by unlocking the energy zones of our bodies.
How to perform Padahastasana?
The following are the steps to perform this pose:
- First, Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) which means standing while keeping the spine erect.
- Keep the feet hip-width apart.
- Inhale, and slowly raise both arms up.
- Exhale, and start folding forward slowly. Make sure that the spine remains as concave (arched) as possible while bending forward with control.
- Slide both hands under the feet with the palms up and toes touching the wrists.
- Exhale gently while moving the face towards the space between your knees.
- Maintain the pose for 3-5 breaths.
- Inhale, while looking forward.
- Inhale, and come back to the center position.
- Exhale, while bringing your hands down.
Benefits of Padahastasana :
1. Tone Your Body: Padahastasana being an intense stretching pose helps in bracing and toning the body resulting in harmonized, nimble physique.
2. The Spell of Flexed Spine: The semi-inverted pose holds several virtues in making the body free from sprains. This posture protects the tough muscles of the hamstrings, wrist, and lower back from various muscular diseases by enchanting the spell of great flexibility in the body.
3. Better Circulation(Flow): Padahastasana ensures a better blood flow right from the head to heel due to its inverted effect where the head is placed below the heart-boosting the blood flow in the veins. The better flow of blood, in turn, gives a brilliant glow to the skin, hampers anxiety, and fights various signs of aging.
4. Bye-Bye Fat: This pose significantly reduces excessive fat and protects the body from various cardiovascular diseases. This pose is best for vanishing belly fat through regular practice.
5. A Strong Gut: “A good digestion turns all to healthy” The best solution to indigestion and abdominal bloating is Padahastasana. This pose galvanizes the well-functioning of all the digestive organs including the spleen and liver ensuring a smooth bowel movement and a healthy digestive system.
6. Happy Glands: “Hormones are the reason for your happiness.” The glands in our body secrete hormones that play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis. This Yoga asana dominantly vivifies the functionality of the thyroid, endocrine, and pituitary glands to lock up the entire wellness.
7. Awaken Chakras: Padahastasana is a natural remedy to unlatch the nerve centers i.e., the chakras also known as the energy zones present across the body, making them fluid that further contributes to physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
8. Taming Tamas: “Tama attracts misery “ If one’s soul is infected by tamas, Padahastasana is the best drug. Tamasic mind is always wounded with laziness, depression, demotivation, heaviness, etc., which often dulls understanding and limits creativity.
Therefore, this pose removes inertia and sets the practitioners free from these downward energies flowing in the spine. Regular practice of this pose makes the body light and energized.
9. The Well-Vata: The alignment of this asana unifies the Vata dosha in the body. Vata presides over all the movements in the body and minds viz. controlling the blood flow, elimination of waste, breathing, and other motions. Therefore as per Ayurveda, Padahastasana harmonizes Vata gifting good mental and physical health.
13. Speeding up metabolism and concentration
Precautions for Padahastasana:
• Padahastasana must be practiced before or after a backward bending pose.
• While bending forward move your torso from the hip joints and not the waist.
• Legs and knees must be kept straight while practicing the pose.
• Do not overstretch. Overstretching might overstress the knees, thighs, calves, ankles, etc. resulting in a sprain.
• Beginners may find it difficult to directly swoop into the Padahastasana posture due to the tightness of the hamstring and lower back. Therefore, one should practice a few simple stretches to relieve the tension from the neck, back, and hamstring before performing Padahastasana.
• People may take a few days to reach the hand-under-foot pose. It is advised to stretch as per one’s comfort and flexibility.
Who should avoid Padahastasana?
People suffering from the following problems should not practice this asana :
• Back pain
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Abdominal hernia
• Knee Problem
Final words: Padahastasana is an amazing yoga pose that renders several health benefits. Right from flexibility to inner peace, Padahastasana showers its healing virtues on the practitioner. Include this healthy pose in your daily yoga routine to achieve the above-mentioned benefits.