Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)

Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, (oo-TEE-tah HAHS-tuh pahd-ahng-goosh-TAHS-uh-nuh)

utthita (extended) + hasta (hand) + pada (foot) + angusta (big toe) + asana (pose)

Also Known as: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Pose Type: Stretching, Strengthening, Balancing, Standing

Difficulty: Advanced

a man wears black and does extended hand to big toe pose

Root down through the earth to hone in on your balance as you come into this challenging pose

extended hand to big toe Pose Fundamentals

Practice balance and strength in this standing balancing pose. Grounding into the standing leg, summon energy from the ground up simultaneously pushing energy down into the earth. This is a great pose to tighten the leg and glute muscles while also strengthening the core. 

This pose will leave you feeling dynamic as it requires flexibility in the hips and hamstrings. Equal parts challenging and graceful, it’s best to do this pose once you have warmed the body enough to come into this deep stretch for the psoas, hip joints, and hamstrings. 

Find your center and stabilize your foundation with Extended Hand to Big Toe pose. Create a full-body experience of balance and expansion. This is great preparation for a half-moon pose or to use as a peak pose for your class. Regardless of how you choose to incorporate it, practice awareness and kindness with your body in this deep hip opener. 

extended hand to big toe Pose Benefits

  • Strengthen your core and feel poise as you grow tall.
  • Stretch the inner thigh and groin muscles.
  • Challenge your sense of balance and create strong roots to rise.
  • A great confidence boost to feel dynamic and powerful in this challenging pose. 
  • Build strong back muscles as you engage your core.
  • Practice good posture and strengthen your spine. 
a gif of a man doing extended hand to big toe pose

How To Do extended hand to big toe Pose: Step-By-Step

How To Get There:

1. Start in mountain pose at the center of your mat. Ground into all four corners of the feet. Come to a neutral spine, connect to your center and grow a little taller through the spine.

2. Start to shift your weight over to the left foot and peel your right foot off the ground.

3. Bend at the right knee and hug it in towards your chest. It’s ok if you wobble here, connect to your core. Careful not to lock out the left knee by keeping a tiny bend.

4. Lengthen through the spine and bring attention to the low back, if the pelvis is starting to tuck out see if you can bring it back into neutral alignment.

5. Take hold of your right big toe with your index and middle fingers.

6. Place your left hand on your left hip and find balance.

7. Begin to extend the right leg out long in front, away from you. Keep the right knee bent as much as you need to if you feel tightness in the hamstrings. 

8. Notice what is happening in the standing leg or if your pelvis has started to dip forward find a neutral pelvis.

9. Lift through the chest and up the crown of your head. 

10. Root down through the left standing leg.

11. Bring the hips back into alignment if the right hip is higher than the left. 

12. Stay here for 4-6 breaths or longer for a deeper stretch. Gently come out of the pose by rooting down into the left leg and coming back to mountain pose. 

13. Notice the difference between the right leg and the left. Repeat on the opposite side.

an annotated image of a man wearing black yoga clothes doing Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose

Tips And Tricks:

  • Try using a wall for balance.
  • Practice opening the hip to the side. Find long length in the leg.
  • Keep the lifted knee bent as much as you need to if you feel tightness in the groin, hips or hamstrings. 
  • Don’t round through the spine for a longer stretch in the lifted leg.

extended hand to big toe Pose Variations:

Reclined Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose 

a man wears black and does reclined extended hand to big toe pose

Try this pose lying on your back to take pressure off the standing leg and keep an aligned spine without rounding. Repeat the same instructions you did during standing. Practice opening the hamstring and hip.

Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose with a Strap

Wrap the sole of the foot with a strap and use it to extend your leg out longer and keep the pelvis neutral.

a woman wearing black does extended Hand to Big Toe pose with a strap around her foot

Precautions & Contraindications:

Common misalignments:

Unconsciously misaligning the hips and having the extended leg hip be higher than the standing one creates instability and poor posture. 

Back or knee Injuries:

If you feel any pain in the low back, honor your body and come out of the pose. 

Avoid practicing if you have a back or knee injury. Practice reclined extended big toe instead. 

Related Poses

Preparatory Poses:

Tree Pose 

Wide legged standing forward bend

Bound angle 

Standing splits

Counter Poses:

Warrior 1

Reverse Plank

Plank

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

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Anna is a freelance lifestyle writer and yoga teacher currently living in sunny San Diego, California. She uses the tools of storytelling and yoga to convey a message of hope and inspiration. Her mission is to make the tools of yoga accessible to as many people as possible especially those in underrepresented communities.

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