Padahastasana (Hand Under Foot Pose) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Asanas (Yoga Poses) Glossary

I. What is Padahastasana (Hand Under Foot Pose)?

Padahastasana, also known as the Hand Under Foot Pose, is a standing forward bend pose in yoga. In this pose, the practitioner bends forward from the waist and places their hands under their feet. This asana is considered an intermediate level pose and requires flexibility in the hamstrings and lower back.

II. How to Perform Padahastasana?

To perform Padahastasana, follow these steps:

1. Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), standing tall with your feet hip-width apart.
2. Inhale and raise your arms overhead, reaching towards the sky.
3. Exhale and bend forward from the hips, keeping your back straight.
4. Bring your hands to the floor in front of your feet.
5. Slowly walk your hands back until your toes touch your wrists.
6. If possible, slide your hands under your feet, palms facing up.
7. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, breathing deeply and relaxing into the stretch.
8. To release, slowly release your hands from under your feet and come back to standing.

III. What are the Benefits of Padahastasana?

Padahastasana offers a variety of benefits for the body and mind, including:

1. Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and lower back.
2. Improves flexibility in the spine and shoulders.
3. Stimulates the digestive organs, aiding in digestion.
4. Calms the mind and relieves stress and anxiety.
5. Strengthens the legs and core muscles.
6. Improves posture and alignment.

IV. What are the Contraindications of Padahastasana?

While Padahastasana can be beneficial for many practitioners, there are some contraindications to be aware of:

1. Avoid this pose if you have a back injury or herniated disc.
2. Pregnant women should avoid deep forward bends like Padahastasana.
3. People with high blood pressure or glaucoma should avoid this pose.
4. If you have wrist or hand injuries, be cautious when placing your hands under your feet.

V. How to Modify Padahastasana for Different Levels of Practition

For beginners or those with limited flexibility, there are several modifications that can be made to make Padahastasana more accessible:

1. Use yoga blocks or a chair to bring the floor closer to your hands.
2. Bend your knees slightly to reduce the stretch in the hamstrings.
3. Place your hands on your shins or thighs instead of under your feet.
4. Practice the pose with a slight bend in the knees to protect the lower back.

VI. What are Some Tips for Practicing Padahastasana Safely?

To practice Padahastasana safely, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Warm up the body with gentle stretches before attempting Padahastasana.
2. Listen to your body and only go as far as is comfortable for you.
3. Engage your core muscles to protect the lower back.
4. Keep the weight evenly distributed between both feet.
5. Breathe deeply and relax into the pose, releasing any tension in the body.
6. If you experience any pain or discomfort, come out of the pose immediately.

In conclusion, Padahastasana is a beneficial yoga pose that can help improve flexibility, strength, and mental clarity. By practicing this pose mindfully and with awareness of your body’s limitations, you can experience the many benefits it has to offer. Remember to always listen to your body and modify the pose as needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable practice.