Pada Hastasana

The Hands to Feet Pose

This is the first of the standing poses. It is similar in effect to Paschimotanasana and many of the same benefits are derived.

How to do Pada Hastasana

Coming into position

  1. Stand erect with feet together.
  2. Inhale and raise the arms over the head. Keep the arms straight and next to ears.
  3. Exhale slowly as you stretch the body downwards, bending from the hips and keeping the knees straight.
  4. Catch the hold of the back of the legs and bring the forehead in as close to the knees as possible.

Holding the position

Beginners may remain in the “Hands to Feet” position for at least 5 seconds. More advanced practitioners may start increasing the time until they are holding the pose for approximately one minute. Make sure that the weight is centered on the balls of the feet. Feel the hips stretching upwards. Keep the knees straight.

To come out of the position

Inhale and stretch up until you have returned to the original standing position with arms stretched over the head. Repeat three or four times.

Benefits of Pada Hastasana

Physical benefits

  • The spine becomes supple and is lengthened.
  • The joints are mobilized, the spine becomes elastic and perennial youth is established.
  • Pada Hasthasana invigorates the entire nervous system.
  • The hamstrings and other muscles on the back of the legs and lower body are stretched.
  • A complete stretch is given to the posterior of the body.
  • There is an increase of blood supply to the brain.
  • Adipose tissue on the abdomen will disappear.
  • This Asana is specially suitable for people who wish to reduce excess fat and develop good posture.
  • Any shortening of the legs owing to fracture of the leg or thigh-bones is rectified.
  • Correction will be effected if there is an inequality in the length of the legs.

Mental/ Psychic Benefits

  • The body is rendered light as Tamas (inertia) is dispelled.
  • Pada Hasthasana helps the passage of Apana Vayu
  • The ‘Sushumna Nadi’ is purified and strengthened.

Common Mistakes

  1. Knees are bent.
  2. Weight is dropped back onto the heels.
  3. Buttocks are pushed backwards.
  4. The head is kept up rather than being into the legs.
  5. Back is rounded rather than flat.